TORONTO — Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi says the country is getting ready to reopen to international tourism this summer, potentially as early as mid-May.
While the EU is preparing its Digital Green Pass of vaccination and testing certification for travel within the 27-country EU bloc, and has indicated a potential reopening for fully vaccinated American travellers, Italy has signalled that it wants to take things a step further and reopen to global markets.
In media reports from The Guardian and others, Prime Minister Draghi said Italy is “ready to welcome back the world.”
Italy’s tourism ministry has indicated that visitors will be required to present proof of vaccination with an EU-approved COVID-19 vaccine, or proof that they have recovered from COVID-19, or a 48-hour negative test result.
Italy was the first major European destination to shut down amid the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
In January 2021 Italy was the first country in the EU to surpass 1 million vaccinations.
Currently about 26% of Italy’s 60 million population has received one vaccine dose and 11% are fully vaccinated.
Another popular destination for Canadian travellers, Israel, is also having great success with its vaccination program. About 60% of Israel residents have received one vaccine dose and 56% are full vaccinated.
Reports in The Times of Israel and others say that starting May 23 Israel will reopen to tour groups, from 14 approved countries: the U.S., France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Iceland, Malta, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
While Canada is not yet on Israel’s list, our own vaccination program is showing progress, with 35% of Canadians having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and millions more doses from Pfizer and Moderna arriving in the coming weeks.