Heading to Rome to watch England in the Euro 2020 quarter finals? Not so fast
England’s 2-0 victory over Germany booked them a slot in the Euro 2020 quarter finals in Rome – but don’t go booking yourself a city break just yet.
Italy’s Covid-19 restrictions mean that most England fans will struggle to get to the showdown with Ukraine.
Here is what you need to know before jumping on a plane.
– I just want to be in Rome, can I book a flight?
Before you splash the cash, bear in mind you have to have proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in the 48 hours before you travel.
Upon arrival, UK passengers must fill in one the of the European Union’s passenger locator forms, before hunkering down for five days of isolation.
Even if you touch down first thing on Wednesday, the earliest you will be out is Sunday – subject to a second Covid-19 test – meaning you will probably be watching the game from a hotel room.
– Are there any exceptions?
The only way you are likely to avoid the isolation requirement is if you are a member of transport crew, or can prove that you are in Italy for “work, health or emergency”.
If you fall into any of those categories, you can enter Italy but must leave within five days.
Passengers transiting through the country are also exempt, as long as they have left Italy within 36 hours, as are EU officials, diplomats and international students returning to study.
– If things had been different, would the German fans have had the same trouble?
No. Germany is participating in the EU digital Covid-19 certificate scheme.
The scheme proves that the carrier has been vaccinated against the virus, or that they have returned a negative test in the 48 hours before travel.
As long as the traveller then fills out the EU passenger locator form, they would be free to enter Italy without five days of quarantine.
– What if I decide to flout the rules?
Breaking the rules could be pricey; anyone caught trying to end their five day quarantine period without proof of a negative test risks a 450 euros fine (£386), the Times reported.
Those who skip quarantine all together could face a much tougher penalty – last year, Italy introduced fines of 3,000 euros (£2,580) for anyone who even tried to travel between regions, let alone cross its borders.
– If I can get myself there, where can I get a ticket?
That could be tricky. The FA has said it will not be selling tickets for the match to the England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) – the official body of away support – due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Instead it is hoping to get as many as tickets to England expats in Italy to make sure the team isn’t playing in front of silent stands on Saturday, the Guardian reported.
The statement said: “Unfortunately, the FA will not be selling any tickets via the ESTC for this fixture given the travel restrictions in place across both countries, and as such are working with Uefa and the British embassy in Italy to facilitate as many ticket sales to English residents in Italy as possible.”
– What do I have to do on my way home?
Fans who overcome all obstacles to get themselves to Rome by Saturday will still have to self-isolate for 10 days upon return, as Italy is on the UK’s amber list.
Returning travellers will have to book a Covid-19 test for day two and day eight of their quarantine before flying.
Passengers can also use the “test to release” scheme where they pay for a private Covid-19 swab on day five of their quarantine – if the results on both day two and day five are negative, you can end your quarantine.
The Government website says people should not travel to amber list countries or territories.