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Italy Plans to Jump Start Foreign Tourism Ahead of The Rest of Europe

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has announced “The time has come to book your holidays in Italy” ahead of Europe’s planned reopening to foreign guests.

Only a day after the European Commission proposed to reopen Europe’s external borders in June, Italy’s Prime Minister decided the land of pizza, pasta and the Coliseum could roll out the benvenuto mat to foreign travelers even sooner.

Draghi has decided Italy doesn’t need to wait until mid-June for the “EU pass” but rather can provide tourists with an “Italian pass” this month.

Meanwhile, Italy’s Foreign Ministry is currently advising Italian citizens to not travel abroad due to “the worsening epidemiological situation in Europe”.

Europe has adopted a traffic light system when it comes deeming the safety of a specific zone. The majority of Italy is currently in a ‘yellow zone’. At time of writing curfew is in effect in the yellow zones of Italy between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Though outdoor dining is permitted, indoor dining at bars, cafés, and restaurants is not. Museums and cultural institutions, a huge draw for tourists, are open with capacity limits and masks are required both in and outdoors for now.

Italy’s health pass will provide clear and simple rules to ensure that tourists can once again travel freely as of mid-May.

Travel to the European Union, including Italy, has been off limits to most foreign visitors since March 2020. Currently the rules and exemptions for those who are able to enter can get complicated when it comes to which nations may travel to Italy, who needs to provide negative Covid tests, which travelers need to quarantine and who may only enter for work, health reasons, for study, to return home or for “absolute urgency.”

Now with vaccine roll outs, it has been proposed that restrictions ease and come June the EU can welcome vaccinated visitors (unvaccinated children may travel with vaccinated parents and their own negative PCR test) as well as those from countries with low Covid cases.

It is important to note that, effective April 29, Italy has banned all travel from India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka with the exception of Italian residents.

For EU citizens the proposal includes a Digital Green Certificate. The document will prove the traveler has been vaccinated, can provide a negative coronavirus test or can prove they have recovered from Covid-19 allowing the tourist to travel freely along the continent.

The Draghi government plans to introduce its own version, the “Italian Pass” as early as next week as well as pledging several measures to protect visitors including “Covid-free” rail service with mandatory pre-boarding swabs for passengers and checkpoints at popular tourist spots.

More details will come soon as to who exactly will be able to obtain the Italian pass, so watch this spazio!

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Nicola Barton

Nicola's dream was to visit all 7 continents and did so by her 40th birthday. However she knows there are still hundreds of places to explore and is packing her suitcase as we speak!

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