Italy has revealed plans to implement its own national COVID-19 ‘green pass’ that could see travelers returning to one of the world’s most popular destinations from mid-May.
The pass will allow visitors to enter without quarantine, as long as they can prove they been vaccinated, have recently tested negative or have recovered from the virus. The details were revealed by Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, at a press conference following a virtual meeting of tourism ministers of the G20. “The pandemic has forced us to close down temporarily, but Italy is ready to welcome back the world,” he said.
The Italian initiative comes ahead of the launch of the European Union’s (EU) digital green certificate. The European Commission—the executive branch of the EU—recently presented a proposal to ease restrictions on non-essential travel for travelers coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, and those who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorized vaccine. If the proposal is approved, it is hoped that the certificate will come into use during the second half of June.
However, Italy is eager to see travelers return sooner. Draghi stated: “We must provide clear and simple rules to ensure that tourists can come to, and travel within, Italy safely.” This will help the country join other European nations, like Greece and Cyprus, which have introduced their own rules on welcoming international travelers to help kickstart the tourism industry.
“As we prepare for the European certificate, the Italian government has introduced a ‘national green pass’ that allows people to move across all regions as of the second half of May,” said Draghi. Details of the how the pass will work have not yet been revealed.
Italian tourism minister, Massimo Garavaglia, confirmed to Italian news channel, SkyTg24, that the pass will be available to travelers from non-EU countries, including the US and the UK.
Italy is home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, and has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country. Among its popular attractions are Pompeii, where visitors can walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans, and Ravenna, home to glittering Byzantine treasures. The gondolas of Venice take in the famous Rialto Bridge, while Rome is home to St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum, as well as the iconic Trevi Fountain.
Source: Lonely Planet