Italy re-opened itself to foreign tourists from Europe on Wednesday (3/6/2020), after three months of undergoing a Corona lockdown. The country hopes that these efforts can revive its tourism industry when summer begins.
As reported by AFP on Wednesday (3/6), the gondola is ready to go back down the Venice canal, lovers will be able to return to acting like Romeo and Juliet on the balcony of the famous Verona. While gladiator enthusiasts can take selfies at the Roman Colosseum.
“Come to Calabria. There is only one risk: you will get fat,” said the governor of southern Villaggi turistici in Calabria Italy Jole Santelli on Sunday (31/5).
Restaurants, cafes and beaches have been slowly reopening over the past two weeks – although the government says it has the right to impose local lockdowns if it sees the number of coronavirus transmissions increase.
Meanwhile, international flights are only expected to reopen in three main cities: Milan, Rome and Naples.
And there is concern that those who normally arrive by car, train or ferry from neighboring countries will go elsewhere on their holidays.
Switzerland has warned its citizens that if they go to Italy, they will be subject to “health measures” on their return. The country will open its borders with Germany, France and Austria on June 15, but not Italy.
Austria lifted restrictions in mid-June with Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – but again, not Italy, which Vienna’s Health Minister described last week as “still a hotspot”.
Other countries, such as Belgium and the UK, still recommend, or prohibit, all non-essential travel abroad.
Responding to perceived anti-Italian sentiment, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has warned countries not to treat Italy “like a leper”.
He said he would go to Germany, Slovenia and Greece to assure them that Italy is safe for foreign tourists.
European tourists arriving in Italy will not be asked to isolate themselves, unless they have recently traveled from another continent.
The lockdown to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in Italy has had a devastating effect on the tourism sector, which accounts for around 13 percent of gross domestic product. Historical sites are closed, restaurants are closed, and hotels are being used to treat Corona patients.
Italy’s national tourism agency (ENIT) says about 40 percent of Italians usually travel abroad for their holidays, but this year could be forced to vacation in their own country to help local tourism businesses.
Italy is the first European country to be affected by the Coronavirus and has officially reported more than 33,000 deaths from Corona.
Italy imposed a lockdown that crippled its economy in early March and since then the number of coronavirus infections has dropped dramatically.
But Italy still reports dozens of new coronavirus cases a day, mainly in the northern Lombardy region, and experts have warned the government may be rushing to allow cross-regional and international travel.