EXPLAINED: How to use Italy’s Covid passenger locator form for travel?

Italy recently eased its pandemic-related international travel restrictions, abolished lists of restricted departure countries and dropped the requirement for fully vaccinated and boosted passengers to pass a test before traveling.

However, that does not mean that all access restrictions have been lifted.

ALSO READ: How Italy’s travel rules are changing in March

One of the ongoing requirements is that all travelers must complete a ‘passenger finder form’. But this document continues to confuse passengers, with some readers of The throwdownttv reaching out this week to ask exactly when they need it and how to fill it out.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know.

Q: Do I still need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form, even though Italy has relaxed travel rules?

A: Italy eased its international travel restrictions on March 1 to allow entry to anyone who has proof of vaccination, recovery, or a recent Covid negative test (more detailed guidance on certificate validity can be found here

Although Italy’s import rules have been relaxed, the Foreign Ministry website makes it clear that the requirement for all arrivals to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) is still in effect.

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In fact, the directive says that carriers have the right to refuse boarding to any passenger who cannot present the form, while on arrival at the Italian border without it being able to quarantine you for five days: so it is very important to ensure make sure you take your completed PLF with you when you travel.

The rules state that the PLF can be in print or digital form – so a PDF file stored on your phone is fine.

The latest travel regulation does state that anyone traveling for less than 48 hours to a location abroad that is less than 60 km from their Italian residence does not need the form to re-enter Italy.

Those traveling less than 60km to Italy from their foreign residence for less than 48 hours don’t need to fill out a form either – presumably to simplify things for people living in border towns.

A Passenger Locator Form is required for almost all arrivals in Italy, with a few exceptions.
A Passenger Locator Form is required for almost all arrivals in Italy, with a few exceptions. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

Q: What if I travel by train or car?

A: Italy requires all people entering the country to fill out a form, whether arriving by air, sea or land.

This requirement includes minors; their form must be completed by the adult accompanying them or, if they are traveling alone, by their legal guardian.

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If you are traveling with a service provider, all you need to do is provide the name of the carrier.

For passengers entering the country by private vehicle, the form is a little more complicated. You must provide the registration number of your car and the name of the Italian border town through which you wish to enter the country.

A drop-down list of possible access points is given; if none of these seem right to you, you have the option to select ‘Other’ and enter a different name.

You must also fill in your estimated time of arrival on the form; if you travel by car, you can of course only make a reasonable estimate.

ALSO READ: EXPLAINED: What are the Covid travel rules between Italy and Australia?

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Q: What if I travel alone through Italy?

A: Italy does not require passengers traveling only through its airports to fill out a PLF.

However, if you decide to leave the airport for an extended period of time during your layover, you will need to complete the form.

The EU Digital Passenger Form Locator website says: “All passengers wishing to enter Italy, by any means of transport, must complete the digital PLF before entering the country”; so it seems that if you plan to travel around Italy by car or train, a PLF is required.

Q: If Italy is my final destination, do I still need to fill out a PLF for other countries I’m traveling through?

A: That depends on both the country and your mode of transport.

The FAQ section of the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form website says: “Travellers traveling by car must submit a PLF every time they enter a country requiring a dPLF to be submitted.”

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However, the rules differ per country: France, for example, says that only arrivals who come by plane must fill in a form.

The Swiss Federal Office of Health says that no one entering the country is currently required to complete a PLF.

Drivers will likely need a PLF to enter Italy, even if they are simply driving through.

Q: How far before my trip can/should I fill out my Italian passenger locator form?

A: Until recently, guidelines from the Italian Ministry of Health had said that the PLF should be completed within 48 hours of arriving in Italy.

This requirement is no longer available on the Ministry of Health or on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ALSO READ: How Italy Updated Its Covid Visitor Health Pass Rules

The FAQ section of the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form website website simply says that the form must be completed before departure/boarding and in the case of a flight, after check-in.

To be on the safe side, it’s probably still a good idea to complete your form in the 48 hours before arriving in Italy if possible.

Q: What if my travel plans change after I’ve completed the form?

A: The EU Digital Passenger Locator Form manual states that a completed form can be edited at any time before departure by logging into your account and clicking the Edit button.

Depending on the country, some parts of the form are locked and cannot be edited. If you find this to be the case, you should be able to delete your form and start over.

For more information on Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures, see the Italian Ministry of Health website or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (both available in English).

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