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Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport

Rutherford, NJ
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Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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I am sharing my experience with getting a Covid test for US re-entry from Milan Malpensa. I am vaccinated, but as of now (Aug 21), you must have a negative test within 72 hours of departure back to the US. The short version - it took me about 2 hours from train arrival to get to my gate with all steps complete, including a test. (This is not the same as needing to get tested as soon as you enter Italy - I am only describing departure testing.)

It is tempting to get a free test at the Red Cross tent in Milan Central station. However, it is only open a few hours a day, the station is not in a good area, and lines can be very long, so you may not get an appointment. I tried MC but it was closed by 1:30 PM and people have reported it closes earlier sometimes.

I couldn't make other arrangements in time so I planned to get my test in Malpensa. It is on the '0' floor of MXP, whereas the train arrived on the -1 floor. There are arrows on the 0 floor to direct you to the area, which is on the left side of terminal 1 if you get off the express train. The appointment-booker with San Donato requires an Italian fiscal code so don't bother with it. That day, there were only appointments available from 8:15 on in official app but I walked in even sooner so I don't know where those times come from.

When I arrived at ~7:50 AM on a Monday, there were about 5 people in line. I waited about 20 minutes and paid 36 euros. Results came back within 5 minutes in English with a paper. Because you need a boarding pass to proceed to security, you will need to checkin with your airline to get one, with the test results in hand, even if you're not checking luggage.

On this particular day, United checkin was at the other end of the terminal from the testing area so it was quite a walk. Another 15 minutes in line to check in. Walk back to the middle of the terminal for the gates. 20 minutes for security. Another walk back for passport control. 15 minutes in line there. Then finally you walk towards your gate. Everything was very far apart, so end-to-end, even with reasonable waits at each step, I arrived on the 7:27 train and was at my gate by 9:20 for a 10:20 departure. This aligned well with getting a snack and boarding, so I am sad to say the 3-hour rule works best here.

My US vaccine card was acceptable for any tourist attraction (ie Duomo), restaurant, etc that required a Green Pass. You will need to show your passport to prove that you are the person named on the vaccine card, so carry it with you. I traveled between Milan, Lake Como, Bellagio, and Cinque Terre with ease. Hope this helps someone plan.

16 replies to this topic
Bordentown, New...
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1. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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Thank you for this as we leave Wednesday for Italy and fly home to US from Milan. Did you show your actual physical card and passport or did you show pictures of them?

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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This is really helpful information as we will be flying back to the states out of Milano. If I read this right, we could conceivably get the test the day before and have the results in hand for a morning flight.

Thanks so much for posting!

2 posts
3. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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So you have to get a test when you arrive in Italy too from US?

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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No, it's the US that requires it before your return flight home.

2 posts
5. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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Ok, I read that in her first paragraph wrong.

1 post
6. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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How much time ahead should we book COVID TEST in Milan before we lrave. Our flight is on Saturdat, September 18th at 07:00 am? Is the teast available at the airport? We are staying in Lake Maggiore are there testing there? Thanks for your help

Silver Spring...
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7. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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https://www.milanomalpensa-airport.com/en/covid-faq/faq

Looks like it's not available when you will be there:

Rapid antigen test directly at Malpensa airport

The GSD group guarantees the chance to take the COVID19 rapid antigen test directly at Malpensa airport, everyday, 08am to 06pm, Arrivals, floor 0 near the door number 4 .

You can book the rapid antigen test in the following ways:

Gruppo San Donato website, using the following link: https://webappgsd.grupposandonato.it/?examId=3745&corporation=Malpensa

​GSD App, using the APP of Gruppo San Donato and choosing “Tampone antigenico rapido - (c/o Malpensa)” at the Palazzo della Salute.

Passengers without a valid italian "Codice Fiscale" please write to this email address tamponimalpensa@grupposandonato.it

PLEASE NOTE: you will take the rapid antigen test at the Malpensa Airport Terminal 1, even if the location listed on the APP / WebSite is Palazzo Della Salute and not Malpensa Airport.

If it is impossible to proceed with the booking, you have to show up 4 hours before the scheduled departure time.

The COVID19 rapid antigen test costs 36 euros.

Rutherford, NJ
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8. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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https://www.faiuntestevai.it/en/airport/milan-malpensa-airport lists that airport tests can start as early as 4 AM. I arrived at 7:45-8 AM and there were already people in line being served, so tests definitely begin before 8 AM. I would ask at your hotel to be sure!! For a 7 AM flight, you would need to get tested at 5 AM at the latest to get through all the steps and make it to your gate by boarding, and that's assuming the airport isn't busy that early.

I showed my real passport and real CDC card for entry to attractions. I don't know if a copy would work.

I don't think you'd want to travel to the airport the day before leaving just to get a test, but you could. But it would be more convenient to talk to your hotel front desk about the best local pharmacies that do tests. One of my American friends did it this way in Genoa.

Jamestown, North...
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9. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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Is it correct that you can enter Italy now from the USA with just your vaccination card? No requirement for testing to enter Italy if you are fully vaccinated? Thank you for confirming this.

Rutherford, NJ
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10. Re: Covid rapid antigen test experience in Milan airport
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As of today, Aug 2021, travelers from the US need a vaccine card and an EU PLF: https://app.euplf.eu/#/ to enter Italy. Note that even though these were the only requirements when I flew into Italy, the airline passed out a border paper to all passengers asking them to acknowledge outdated rules around Italian quarantine. When US citizens got to passport control, the Italian officials said to throw that paper away and disregard it.

I found this really scary so I wanted to flag it, 1) no quarantine if you come from the US on a proper flight with a vaccine card 2) the rules are changing so fast that you can get mixed messages like this, and Italy is kind of notorious for its messy bureaucracy.

On Sept 1, the rules are changing again to require the vaccine card for trains and ferries so be prepared for that.

To exit Italy back to the US, you need a negative test. Vaxxed or not! You must test!

Always check the US Embassy info for Italy and the Italian foreign affairs site for the latest rules: https://it.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ and https://www.esteri.it/mae/en/ministero/normativaonline/decreto-iorestoacasa-domande-frequenti/focus-cittadini-italiani-in-rientro-dall-estero-e-cittadini-stranieri-in-italia.html

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