September 25, 2020

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Italy to allow unrestricted travel starting June 3

Travelers can vacation in Italy once again as of June 3, the government announced. It’s a major step for Italy, which is slowly starting to recover after one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world.

Italy will allow travel to and from abroad starting on June 3, the government announced late Friday night.

According to the decree approved by Italy’s Cabinet, restrictions will also be lifted on travel within Italy — meaning residents will once again be allowed to freely travel from region to region. 

Restrictions on movement within regions will end earlier on May 18. The statement stressed, however, that local and state governments can curb travel in certain areas if there is a spike in new infections.

Some regions urged Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to roll back the restrictions sooner, but Conte has pushed for a gradual rollback of restrictions to prevent a second wave.

“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again,” Conte said in a televised address. “We have to accept it otherwise we will never be able to start up again.” 

The current curbs will stay in place until after Italy’s Republic Day holiday on June 2 to prevent mass travel over the holiday weekend.

No quarantine for tourists 

The measures are currently limited to residents in Europe’s visa-free Schengen area, the government clarified later on Saturday. 

Travelers will also not be required to quarantine for 14 days upon entering Italy after June 3.  

The announcement was a major move for Italy as it seeks to reopen its tourism industry and salvage some of the summer vacation season. 

Italy became the epicenter of the coronavirus in Europe in late February, enacting one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. 

The country has the third-highest death toll in the world after the US and the UK, with over 31,600 fatalities due to the virus, although new COVID-19 cases have been steadily dropping.

rs/aw (dpa, Reuters)