A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR

Jun 10, 2020 | FCO news, News

British Embassy Rome – Issue No.18

To British Nationals in Italy,

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide information on recent changes to the measures in place in Italy to manage the Covid-19 health emergency and the new entry requirements in the UK, as well as to update you on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in Italy.

Coronavirus and Phase III

On 3 June, Italy moved to Phase III of the Covid-19 response. The Italian Government reopened free circulation between all regions and committed to continued close monitoring of contagion rates.  Travel across regions is now allowed without an Autodichiarazione, although as stated by Prime Minister Conte, it is crucial that everyone respects social distancing and all measures adopted to fight the virus including the use of masks and gloves when required.

At the same time, borders for international travellers have reopened between Italy and the UK, Italy and EU Members and States party to the Schengen Agreement.  From 3 June, people travelling to Italy from these countries will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless they have stayed in other countries during a 14-day period prior to entering Italy.

More information on these requirements is available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs frequently asked questions page. Note that there are additional measures in place for arrivals to the island of Sardinia, details of which can be found on the regional website (in Italian).

Access to main airports is granted to passengers only (not people accompanying). The passenger’s temperature is taken at the entrance with thermo-scanners. The Fiumicino airport terminal remains closed between midnight and 5am to allow sanitisation (this may change shortly).

Entering the UK from 8 June

Public health border measures in the UK came into force on Monday. All arrivals – except a limited number of exemptions – are now required to complete an online locator form to supply contact details, travel details and the address of where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Where international travellers are unable to safely self-isolate in their own accommodation, the Government will support to find appropriate accommodation at the traveller’s own expense.

Public Health England will contact people at random to ensure they understand the requirements and are self-isolating. Anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. The level of fine could increase if the risk of infection from abroad increases. The Devolved Administrations will set out their own enforcement approaches.

Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any foreign nationals who refuse to comply with these regulations and are not resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.

The measures will be subject to review, to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary. The first review will take place by 29 June. Please keep checking the advice on gov.uk here.

The Withdrawal Agreement and Citizens’ Rights

When the UK left the EU on 31 January, we entered a transition period lasting until 31 December during which the rights of UK nationals living here remain broadly unchanged. It has been a longstanding legal requirement to register with your comune if you live in Italy for longer than 3 months. If you wish to live in Italy beyond the 31 December, you should register as a resident before the end of this year. In this way, as a legal resident in Italy, your lifelong rights, including the right to live and work in Italy, will be protected under the Withdrawal Agreement. 

If you are unable to register by 31 December, you should keep evidence of having tried to do so and evidence of lawfully living here. That means proof of one or more of the following: employment, self-employment, economic self-sufficiency (e.g. in receipt of a pension and healthcare cover), enrolment as a student (and healthcare cover).

Once registered you will need to request a new document called the Attestazione di Iscrizione Anagrafica from your comune. This document is further proof of your status under the Withdrawal Agreement. We understand that many comuni are now re-opening. You may therefore wish to obtain the new document over the coming weeks, but we advise that you contact your comune first. We are seeking clarification on some outstanding questions regarding the new document and we will be updating our Living in Italy Guide as soon as we can. When obtaining the new attestazione you are not obliged to relinquish your current residency document. If you have any difficulties or questions please contact us via our email contact form here.

Registering for healthcare in Italy

You need to be registered as a resident to access state healthcare in Italy. You have to pay to use parts of the healthcare system, although some parts are free. At the moment, UK nationals living in Italy usually access the Italian health system in one of the following ways:

  • registering to use the Italian state health system
  • using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 with the Italian health system

The S1 form entitles UK nationals to access to state healthcare on the same basis as an Italian citizen. You are entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits. Find out more about the S1.

If you are employed or self-employed, you can register with the national health system for free. You can register your dependents at the same time.

If you are not working or paying social security contributions, you may be able to register with the national health system voluntarily by paying a fee each year. This depends on the region of Italy you live in. If you cannot register voluntarily in your region, you will need to take out private health insurance.

If you are living in Italy before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Italy will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident. This means you will continue to get state healthcare in Italy from 1 January 2021 on the same basis as a Italian resident. You will also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

For more information on how to register with your local healthcare authority please consult our page here.

Staying in touch with UK nationals in Italy during lockdown

During lockdown, we have had to postpone our face-to-face outreach meetings with UK nationals across Italy. However, we have been continuing to stay in touch via our social media channels including running two virtual drop-in sessions. We will shortly be holding a live Q & A session on Facebook so please do look out for details. You can read my latest newsletters here which provide detailed information on your rights in Italy during the transition period and beyond. I have also issued two video messages which you can find here.

We recently published a new Information Guide for UK Nationals on the Withdrawal Agreement on our Living in Italy guide. Please do feel free to download it to share with friends and family.

Last week I held a virtual Afternoon Tea event with leaders of UK communities in Italy. We came together to discuss how we can best communicate with people who are not internet users, including the most vulnerable and isolated. We are very aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that we have had to use our online channels and we will continue to strive to reach as many people as possible through all possible means during the rest of this year. If you would like to share your ideas how we can best do that, please do get in touch with us by emailing UKNationals.inItaly@fco.gov.uk. You can also use that email address to sign up to our mailing list.

Staying up to date

Please continue to check our Living in Italy guide for updates. You can find information on a wide range of issues including registering as a resident and for healthcare, the new attestazione, as well as pension rights, driving licences and driving abroad and passports.

I want to assure you that I and my team in Italy will continue to reach out to you and offer our support.

With warm wishes,

Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy

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