MSE News

Italy added to UK's quarantine list

Travellers returning to the UK from Italy, San Marino and Vatican City will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on Sunday 18 October. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the move, saying the rules would apply across the UK. 

However, the Government is also adding Crete to its travel corridor list at the same time, meaning travellers returning from the island won't need to self-isolate from Sunday. Quarantine rules for travellers returning from Greek islands will now be the same regardless of where in the UK you live. 

For more help, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide, and for the latest on fast-changing travel restrictions, see our Top 15+ holiday destinations – where can you still travel to? guide.

I'm travelling to the UK from Italy – what do I need to know?

Unless you fall within an exemption, if you arrive in the UK from Italy, San Marino or Vatican City after 4am on Sunday, you will:

  • Need to provide your journey and contact details before you arrive in the UK.
  • Not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK, except in very limited situations (known as 'self-isolating').

Quarantine rules generally apply to arriving travellers who have been in a non-exempt area at any point within the past 14 days – so if you've been in Italy in the last 14 days and then travel back via an exempt country, you'll still need to self-isolate.

I have a trip to Italy booked but it's been cancelled – what are my rights?

The good news is if you booked a flight or package holiday to Italy, San Marino or Vatican City and it's been cancelled by a travel firm, it has to refund you in full by law:

  • Under the Package Travel Regulations if a package holiday's cancelled, you're due a full refund within 14 days. Though right now, it's often taking longer and getting a full refund during the pandemic has not always proved easy (for more help, see cancelled package holiday refunds).

  • If you have a flight and it's cancelled, then under EU flight delay rules you're due a full refund within seven days. Though again, right now there are delays to refunds and some have struggled to get them (for more help, see cancelled flight refunds).

Hotel stays booked directly are unlikely to be cancelled. If they are, there's no specific regulation governing these like there is with package travel and flights. You'd likely be owed a refund, but it would depend on local law.

I had a trip booked and it's not cancelled – what are my rights?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is now advising against all but essential travel to Italy – including Vatican City – and San Marino.

This means that if you have a package holiday booked to one of these destinations, under the Package Travel Regulations you should be able to get a refund within 14 days – even if the trip's not been cancelled.

If your flight or holiday is still running, you can't get a refund from the firm directly and you have insurance, it may cover you.

If an FCDO warning is in place for your destination at the time you're due to travel, you're likely to be able to claim on insurance if your policy covers coronavirus cancellation – this will usually be the case if you took out the insurance and booked the trip before mid-March, though this is not the case for all policies, so check.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!