Italy tourism

tourism will resume from mid-May

Italy will open to tourism from mid-May, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said. His message to potential visitors is that “now is the time to book your vacation”.

Mr Draghi said Italy would get ahead of the EU in introducing its own travel pass to resume tourism after the pandemic.

“Let’s not wait until mid-June for the European pass,” Draghi said. “In mid-May, tourists can have the Italian Pass…so now is the time to book your Italy vacation.”

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He said: “The world yearns to travel here. The pandemic has forced us to close temporarily. But Italy is ready to welcome the world back.”

Mr Draghi is under pressure to revive a tourist industry which accounts for 13% of Italy’s economic output, but which collapsed last year as arrivals fell by three-quarters.

Italy has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the EU, with more than 120,000 deaths recorded, and travel between Italian regions has been restricted for much of the year.

But with the number of cases falling, travel within the country will be permitted by an Italian green pass, which Mr Draghi said would be available to tourists.

It was unclear whether entry restrictions, which require tourists from the rest of Europe to self-isolate for five days upon arrival, will be lifted.

The EU health pass system will allow people to prove they have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid-19 in the previous 180 days.

EU members will be required to accept vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Countries can also choose to accept other vaccines not approved by EU regulators, such as Russia’s Sputnik V.

UK set to announce summer travel ‘green list’

Hopes that Britons will be able to travel to Europe also rose on Monday after the EU recommended easing restrictions in favor of countries with a “good epidemiological situation”.

Potential UK tourists are awaiting the UK government’s announcement of which countries will be greenlisted when international travel resumes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said there will be an opening to international travel from May 17.

After a meeting of G20 tourism ministers, Draghi said it was important to provide clear and simple rules for tourists.

Italy is the G20 president this year and chaired Tuesday’s meeting, which discussed ways to recover from the coronavirus.

International tourist arrivals fell by 73% worldwide in 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The G20 ministers said “the resumption of travel and tourism is crucial for the global economic recovery”.

They said the health crisis had presented an “opportunity to rethink tourism” and put it on a sustainable footing.

Their statement did not refer specifically to vaccine passports, but said ministers wanted to support and coordinate “safe international mobility initiatives”.

Countries around the world are looking for ways for people to show they have been vaccinated to allow them to travel freely.

But airports, border agencies and airlines fear there is no clear global standard.

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