With UK travellers now required to test negative for Covid-19 to get into Italy, Rocco Forte hotels is sending out self-test kits ahead of stays. Olivia Palamountain reports

This is not an ideal time to be a UK traveller but for Brits determined to spend time in Italy, Rocco Forte Hotels is here to help.

Since the UK was added to Italy’s “at risk” list, travellers from the UK will have to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the last 72 hours or agree to be tested on arrival.

The new legislation saw mass hotel cancellations but Rocco Forte Hotels has responded to this by launching its own “Fit to Travel” pre-flight testing service in partnership with test facility Blue Horizon.

The online service will arrange for self-test kits to be couriered to and from people’s homes with a guaranteed certificate produced within 72 hours of travel. Results will be emailed directly from the laboratory.

The Blue Horizon test costs £169 but Rocco Forte Hotel guests are entitled to a £40 discount with an exclusive code supplied upon confirmation of reservation. This can then be applied at checkout on the Blue Horizon website.

Sir Rocco Forte says: “These are trying times but I am keen to do anything which will enhance travel and allow our customers to holiday and enjoy themselves. Testing in the UK before travelling to Italy reduces much of the hassle and helps make the trip as seamless as possible. Upon arrival guests will find our usual hospitality and service.”

Testing is also available on arrival from three Rocco Forte properties; Verdura Resort in Sicily, Hotel de la Ville and Hotel de Russie in Rome. Results are available within 48 hours.Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Sicily

Other hotels offering Covid testing

At the beginning of October, Spain’s Room Mate boutique hotels became the first hotel chain to offer guests free Covid-19 tests.

According to The Guardian: “Guests will be tested on arrival or can choose to take a free antigen test before travelling at any of around 100 clinics across Spain run by Quirón, Room Mate’s partner in the scheme. The hotel will then use an app to track guests’ symptoms during their stay. Long-stay guests and hotel staff will be tested every three to five days.”

More recently, the Arora Group, one of the UK’s leading hotel owner-operators, announced it will be introducing “Test & Rest” accommodation packages at airport hotels, which include a self-administered saliva-based PCR Covid-19 test kit provided by HALO, a UK-based biotech firm based at the Imperial College i-Hub in White City.

Surinder Arora, founder and CEO of Arora Group, says: “The ability to stay in a hotel the night before a flight and get a recognised PCR saliva based Covid-19 test and subsequent result before the flight the following day – just made sense.”

Nigel Kellow, chief medical officer at HALO, says: “We believe that in HALO we have created a system that offers hotel guests and many others a safe, secure and simple way to travel and enjoy life again in confidence. We hope more organisations in the travel industry will follow Surinder Arora’s example.”

Globetrender has previously reported on the ordeal of pre-flight testing, something that it hopes will improve with the new dawn of rapid testing machines as seen at Heathrow.

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