Italy reopening tourism to vaccinated tourists including those from the Czech Republic

Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, Italy and Croatia were two of seaside tourist destinations most visited by Czechs.

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw Published on 06.05.2021 14:35:00 (updated on 06.05.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Vaccinated tourists, including those from the Czech Republic, will be able to holiday in Italy from the end of next week, according to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Speaking after a meeting of Group of 20 (G20) tourism ministers, the Italian prime minister has urged foreigners to book their summer holidays in Italy, adding that the country is preparing its own Covid passport, which should enter into force on May 15. 

The proposed document should facilitate trips to Italy and between Italian regions. This would place Italy ahead of the rest of the European Union, in the race to reopen in time for the summer tourist season. “Let us not wait until mid-June for the EU to pass,” Draghi said. “in mid-May tourists can have the Italian pass - so the time has come to book your holidays in Italy.”

Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, Italy, together with Croatia, was one of the two most visited seaside tourist destinations for inhabitants of the Czech Republic. According to Italian statistics, until 2019, about 650,000 Czech citizens spent a holiday in Italy every year. 

As of Monday, May 4, Czechs who are at least 14 days past their second dose can return from 'red' and 'orange' countries (Italy is currently considered a red country) without tests or quarantine.

Under the current rules, tourists must produce evidence of a negative test on arrival, spend at least five days in isolation and then perform another test. Under the proposed new pass, tourists to Italy would not need to quarantine, so long as they could produce a negative test, a certificate of a completed vaccination, or a medical certificate showing that they had recovered from Covid-19.  

The announcement follows a recent European Commission plan to allow inoculated Americans with EU-approved vaccines to visit the 27 member states this summer. Although the specifics of Italy’s pass have yet to be disclosed, Draghi’s statement puts Italy ahead of that timeline by a month.

The Italian media has also reported that Draghi’s government is considering abolishing mandatory quarantine for some non-EU countries where high proportions of the population are vaccinated, such as Israel and the United States.

Upon arrival in Italy, certain restrictions will probably apply to holidaymakers, at least temporarily, this year. The state of emergency is still in force in the country, extended until July 31, and face masks must be worn even outdoors. There is still a ban on going out at night between 10 pm and 5 am. These measures may be alleviated or eliminated in the coming weeks if the disease continues to develop favorably.

A single European vaccine passport, due to be introduced in June, promises to facilitate movement between EU member states without testing and quarantine obligations. The digital document would contain information about a person’s vaccination status. However, some countries, especially those that are economically dependent on tourism, do not want to wait for the EU passport before they reopen.

In addition to the Italian announcement, Greece, Spain, and Portugal have all announced that they will reopen their borders to tourists.

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