Starting Wednesday June 3rd, Italy reopened its borders to tourists from 26 countries without any restrictions upon arrival.
During its lockdown, which began nearly three months ago, Italy placed strict limits on non-essential travel in and around the country. But from Wednesday, those restrictions have been lifted and most arrivals into the country will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.
According to the Italy Tourism Agency, tourists arriving from the 26 other members of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City will not face any restrictions upon entering Italy.
International flights will resume in three major cities, Milan, Rome and Naples.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised speech announcing the reopening: “We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again.
With 63.2 million tourists a year (2018), Italy is the fifth most visited country in international tourism arrivals.
“We have to accept it otherwise we will never be able to start up again.”
Italy was the first country in Europe to be hit hard by the coronavirus. Since it reported its first death in late February, there have been more than 33,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the country.
It now faces its deepest recession since the Second World War, as the lockdown decimated numerous industries and crippled the economy. The Italian government is hoping to lure tourists back in time for the summer to get its economy moving again.
Dear friends, as you know the special measures to contain the Covid-19 epidemic have included limitations on travels. Now something is changing. From June 3, you can enter Italy from abroad, except from countries for which special measures are in force 👉 https://t.co/U6psOUtYvz pic.twitter.com/0orLrTY3Cm— Visit Tuscany (@VisitTuscany) May 21, 2020
What is open in Italy?
- All hotels and accommodation facilities have reopened providing that a safety distance of one metre is guaranteed in all common areas
- Museums and other places of culture (libraries, archives, archaeological areas and parks and monumental complexes
- All restaurants, pubs and bars
- All beach activites
- Access to parks, villas, playgrounds and public gardens is allowed. Outdoor recreational activities are allowed
- Gyms, swimming pools, sports centres and clubs
- All places of worship as long as social distancing of 1 meter is observed
- From the 15th of June, shows in theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other outdoor spaces are allowed. A maximum number of 1000 spectators for outdoor shows and 200 people for performances in closed places have been set.
Face Mask Requirements
It is mandatory to wear masks in all closed spaces, including means of transport, and in any situation where it's not possible to guarantee the interpersonal safety distance. Children under six years of age and persons with forms of disability not compatible with the use of the mask are not subject to the obligation.
Restrictions for specific areas of the country can be restored at any time in the event of a worsening of the epidemiological situation.
Matt Carley, a tour guide originally from Canada but living in Rome, told USA Today he predicted that Roman businesses that rely on tourists are going to struggle.
“I think the few tourists that come are going to head to the countryside or the mountains or the beach,”
Carley said. “It’ll be a while before most visitors are going to want to spend their vacation in a big city.”
Those who do come can expect certain changes. Many restaurants use QR codes, so customers can decide on their meal via smartphone rather than passing a menu from table to table.
Eating out during #coronavirus lockdown #Phase2 in #Rome: my 1st sitdown restaurant meal in 10 weeks, at #DaEnzo in #Trastevere. A masked, gloved waiter displayed the menu via #QRCode. The previous day, they did about 1/5 the business of a pre-#Covid19 Monday. #NewNormal #Fase2 pic.twitter.com/dc3cO95cHb— Eric J. Lyman 🇺🇸🇩🇴🇮🇹 (@EricJLyman) May 19, 2020