Italy to welcome tourists as early as mid-May thanks to new health pass

Italy wants its tourists back, and fast. With the world slowly emerging from COVID, it's become a race as to which country opens up first to tourists.

Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi announced that foreign visitors could be welcomed in as soon as mid-May, thanks to a health pass.

Italy taking the first in the tourism arms race

Ater a meeting of G20 tourism ministers, the former banker was quoted by Reuters as saying:

Let's not wait until mid-June for the European passport. Mid-May tourists will be able to get the Italian certificate (...) so now is the time to book your holiday in Italy.

By setting this date, Italy is swooping the prize from under England and France's feet, which has announced a return of tourists in June. A Rome correspondent writes:

This choice is not based on the figures of the epidemiological situation but on the pressing need to relaunch the economy, and therefore tourism, one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, with losses estimated at 53 billion euros.

Tourists already welcome in Spain and Greece

The journalist reports that visitors from the European Union (EU) will be exempted from the current 5-day mandatory isolation period. For those coming from other parts of the world, the 10-day quarantine should remain in place, but exceptions could be made for visitors arriving from countries ahead of the vaccination schedule, including the US, Israel and the UK.

Some EU countries have already opened their doors to European tourists without quarantine, provided they test negative on arrival. This is the case in Spain, Greece, Croatia and Sweden.

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