I got stuck in Italy during Covid-19. I entered from the usa Feb 20th and left July 26.My question is what date can I return and for how long. I'm on an American passport. Obviously the 90 days is up Oct 26th but what confuses me is the 180 day rule. Thats why I asked "what date can I return". Must I wait 180 days out of Italy ? Im not really considering the pandemic rules in my travel because I can't go until Nov 1 anyway…

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    @MarkJohnson No, you don't have to stay outside the Schengen area for 180 days to be readmitted for a new 90 days visit. Yet again, you are plain wrong and just confusing. As Relaxed already answered correctly, OP can enter on October 25th and stay for 90 days if he wants to do so. Sep 15, 2020 at 22:20
  • @MarkJohnson after 90 days away, it's possible to enter for up to 90 days. That means that on 24 October, the 90th day after leaving, K.K. may not re-enter, but on 25 October, the 91st day, or any day thereafter including 1 November, K.K. may enter for up to 90 days. That's because in the 180-day period that ends on 25 October, K.K. has only 89 days of presence in the Schengen area (or 90 after entering on the 25th).
    – phoog
    Sep 15, 2020 at 23:14
  • Thank you gentlemen ! I appreciate your time and knowledge. I wrote to the US Embassy in Rome before posting my question here and they sent me a bunch of links trying to teach me ! After I wrote them back ( well kind of in a foul manner ! ) they said they are not allowed to give advice hahaha and I thought it was there job to " help " the people 😂😂😂
    – K.K.
    Sep 16, 2020 at 6:13
  • "I thought it was their job to help people": it is, but US authorities are not the right people to explain the finer points of Italian law. The people you should be asking are representatives of the Italian government or of whatever other Schengen government it is whose officers will be inspecting your passport the next time you try to enter the Schengen area.
    – phoog
    Sep 18, 2020 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


Your situation is actually straightforward. You need to stay out of the Schengen area for 90 full days, after which you may stay for another 90 days, at least as far as this rule is concerned. So on October 25 (not 26), you could be admitted for a 90-day stay (if you are admitted at all, obviously). The rule is stated in a somewhat confusing way to counter an earlier interpretation from the EU court of justice and deal with some corner cases but that doesn't make a difference in simple cases like yours.

Note that the 90/180 day limit is not the only restriction on visits to the Schengen area. Among other things, border guards are also supposed to evaluate the purpose of your trip and your ability and willingness to leave the Schengen area in case. An earlier overstay could in theory raise questions about that, although the Covid-19 situation should work in your favor in this case.

In other words, the overstay doesn't change anything to the application of the 90/180 maximum stay rule but could be an issue in itself.

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    I am not sure about Italy, but several Schengen countries have suspended immigration regulations because of Covid related travel issues. For example in Germany, all foreigners who entered before March 17th are still allowed to stay even if their 90 days visa free allowance, C-visa or national visa has lapsed or expired. Currently, the exemption is in force until September 30th, but may be further extended. I doubt that this overstay in Italy will be considered an issue. Sep 15, 2020 at 22:31
  • Thanks my friend, hopefully when I travel about Nov 1 everything will be open ))
    – K.K.
    Sep 16, 2020 at 18:13
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Thanks for the precisions, I edited the answer slightly to better reflect that.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 17, 2020 at 9:20

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