Italy unveils its first COVID-free island: Procida, in the Bay of Naples, Campania. The 7,500 inhabitants of age to benefit from the vaccine have been inoculated, announced the mayor of 'the first covid-free zone on a national scale' on 5 May. And other Italian islands–Capri, Ischia, Lampedusa, and others–are expected to follow.
Italy has planned a vaccination campaign by age group. But unlike other, highly centralised countries in the EU, the Italian provinces have a certain amount of autonomy in health matters. And they can use this to sidestep the central government's vaccination strategy. Vincenzo De Luca, president of Campania, on which Procida depends, has chosen to deviate from this strategy in order to save the tourist season in his region.
Capri, Ischia, Lampedusa, Aeolian Islands, Sicily... other Italian islands will follow
This is a very strong message to the world–it is safe to come here. We are preparing to welcome millions of tourists.
And they're preparing quickly: not content with the procrastination of the European 'green certificate,' Italy is going to set up its own health pass to welcome tourists from mid-May.
Capri, also in the Bay of Naples, could be the next Italian 'COVID free' island. The CNN statements of its mayor, Marino Lembo, point in this direction: 80% of Capri's 15,000 islanders had already received a dose this weekend. The island of Ischia, also in Campania, should also complete its vaccination campaign soon.
Vaccine advancements despite population hesitancy
Outside Campania, Lampedusa and the Aeolian Islands, in the autonomous region of Sicily, are massively vaccinating their populations and could soon claim to be 'COVID free.' However, Sicily - the island this time - is said to be lagging behind its neighbours: elderly Sicilians are reluctant to be vaccinated.