The dominoes continue to fall: Italy is ready to welcome back visitors from across the world, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said after a G20 tourism ministers meeting on Tuesday. As reported by Italy’s ANSA, Draghi said, “The world wants to travel to Italy; the pandemic has forced us to close, but Italy is ready to welcome back the world.”
According to the report, Draghi said that Italy would be introducing a “national green pass” in the second half of May to facilitate domestic travel across the country. Then, from the second half of June, a “European green pass” would be ready, presumably to restart safe international travel. He added, “I have no doubts that tourism to and in Italy will re-emerge stronger than before.”
Italy has been easing COVID-19-related restrictions from April 26, following the government’s four-tier, color-coded system across the 20 regions across the country, Reuters reported. In the more lenient yellow and white zones, restaurants and bars are able to serve guests outside, while cinemas and theaters can operate with capacity limits. Orange and red zones have more severe restrictions. According to Italy’s Ministry of Health, only one region is listed as red, five as orange, and 15 as yellow. None are white areas yet.
According to The New York Times, Italy has vaccinated 25 percent of its population, with 11 percent fully vaccinated. The country has had 11,371 average daily cases over the last week (19 per 100,000 people) and is among the countries where cases are higher but going down.
Italy’s reopening follows the announcement that the European Union would be prepared to accept non-E.U. visitors that are vaccinated this summer with a digital health certificate in effect. This led to announcements from Spain and France that they would be reopening to international visitors with health passes in place starting in June. In addition, Greece has already reopened to the United States, along with select other countries. Outside of the E.U., the United Kingdom announced its Global Travel Taskforce set in motion a “traffic light” system to help lead to the reopening of its borders. In March, Iceland reopened to all vaccinated travelers.