Italy is getting ready to welcome tourists back.
Earlier this week, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the country plans to release a pass allowing some tourists to travel around Italy by mid-May.
“Italy is ready to welcome back the world,” Draghi said during a press conference after a meeting of G-20 tourism ministers this week.
Italy’s travel pass will be available to people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as people who have recently recovered from the virus or who have recently tested negative, Draghi said.
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The country’s travel pass will be released about a month ahead of a similar pass being issued by the European Union. Draghi did not give other specifics about the pass.
“Let’s not wait for mid-June for the European pass. Mid-May, tourists can be given the Italian pass,” Draghi said during the Italian portion of his statement, according to the translator.
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During the English portion of his statement, Draghi added: “It’s time for you to book your holidays in Italy. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.”
According to Reuters, tourism makes up about 13% of Italy’s economic output. Though the country had to close temporarily because of the pandemic, Draghi said that he expects Italy’s tourism sector to “bounce back as strong as it was before and even stronger.”
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Draghi also said that the country needs to “provide clear and simple rules to ensure that tourists can come to and travel within Italy safely.”
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Italy labeled as having a “Very High Level of COVID-19.”
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“Travelers should avoid all travel to Italy,” the agency says on its website. “Because of the current situation in Italy even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Italy.”
The CDC does recommend that if someone has to travel to Italy, they should be fully vaccinated before their trip. The agency also recommends that travelers wear masks, practice social distance, avoid crowds and wash their hands often.
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