Suddenly everything has to go very fast. Italy is opening up both internally and externally – and putting pressure on Brussels. Early next Saturday, May 15th, visitors who have been vaccinated, recovered, and have tested negative from the European Union, Great Britain and Israel should be allowed to travel to Italy without the need for the five-day quarantine service as before. Leave, on the spot, with a kind of “green corridor”. A “high vaccination rate” has already been achieved in all of these countries, and the relaxation is said to be justified. It will be the United States after that in June.
A legal framework is still needed for a quick opening, and of course, if Italians go alone within the European Union, it wouldn’t be a particularly good idea. But Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi thinks Brussels must finally act. “We urge the European Commission and the European Parliament to act as quickly as possible on defining the vaccination certificate so that soon we will have a European model.” Because: if each country gives its own certificate and sets its own procedures for tourism, it will be a big mess – Great confusionDraghi also called it. Everything is going too slowly for him.
Well, Italy initially causes confusion as it progresses. Some things are not clear: Is one dose of vaccination sufficient for free entry or should the vaccination be done twice? For those who have recovered, the recovery date should not be more than six months. The tests must be recent: no more than 48 hours.
It is also unclear how important the one-sided offer from Italy would be to foreigners. If you stay with the current system, some will have to push for quarantine after returning home, because Italy is considered a risky country in many places. And who wants or can accept that, for example after Whitsun on beautiful Lake Garda? The Italian epidemic numbers are “very encouraging”, as Draghi describes them, but the criteria for returning from Italy were not finally set by the Italians.
New infections have recently stabilized at around 10,000 per day, and the occupancy rate in intensive care units has decreased by more than twenty percent in the past two weeks, which is mainly attributed to the age group that is now almost immune from 70 to over 90 years old. The number of deaths is declining, but it is still very high, with more than 200 deaths every day. And the incidence rate is more than 100.
The governor runs a commercial from Capri
The summer season is vital to the Italian economy, seen as a catalyst for a fresh start, which is why you definitely don’t want to be adventurous at first. Some small islands are almost fortified: Capri and Procida in the Bay of Naples, for example. “Capri is a global brand, and we warmly welcome guests and friends,” Vincenzo Di Luca, Campania Regional President, also said in English on the occasion. Ischia will be finished in two weeks, and the work will not be taken away by the Greeks and Spaniards.
De Luca began an argument by prioritizing the Campanian holiday islands, but it is now imitated everywhere. The Sicily and Tuscan Islands have also started mass vaccination operations in order to prepare for the summer work as soon as possible.
Last year, the Italian tourism sector lost 24 billion euros. The number of guests from abroad decreased by 74 million compared to 2019. Since no Russian and Asian tourists are expected this year, and they are among the most generous, Italy relies mainly on European and American tourists. Guests from the USA alone account for 0.8% of Italy’s GDP, you have to imagine. Therefore, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his hope that a large number of “Covid-free aircraft” from the United States would land in Italy from June onwards.
Life comes back to the cities with a bit of chaos
Italy is also opening its doors. With the exception of Sardinia, Sicily and the Aosta Valley, it is orange in the Italian traffic light system, which means it is at medium risk, and all regions are now yellow, indicating a low level of risk. Restaurants and bars are also open in the evenings, so far only outside. But the pre-summer temperatures help: life is returning, in Rome the terraces are full. Restaurants are also allowed to place their tables on sidewalks and parking lots – there’s plenty of space and a little bit of fun clutter.
The night curfew won’t start soon at 10pm, but only at 11pm or midnight. Even homes for the elderly are slightly open to visits by relatives, under strict conditions. Politicians are united by all parties: everyone wants to be open. Only virologists warn of carelessness, which is largely unheard of.