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Italy says no to EU tourist corridors this summer

Conte says Italy will not accept bilateral tourism pacts among EU states

Italian premier Giuseppe Conte has said that European Union states must not forge tourist pacts between themselves during the coronavirus crisis.

Conte, commenting during the launch of a €55 billion stimulus package for Italy, warned that bilateral tourism deals within the EU would mean the "destruction of the single market."

The premier was responding to a question from a reporter on his views about the proposals of EU nations reopening their borders at different speeds, depending on national circumstances, with some countries considering free travel with just a limited number of EU states.

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“We will not accept bilateral accords within the EU that might create privileged tourist channels”, Conte said.

As part of Italy's stimulus package, Conte announced a raft of measures to boost the country's devastated tourism sector, including a €500 holiday bonus for families earning less than €40,000 a year; a tourism fund of €150 million; and the allocation of €20 million to promote tourism in Italy.

Earlier on 13 May Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio addressed the question of summer travel, commenting (in Italian) in a Facebook post:

"We are developing a summer plan that allows citizens to spend their holidays in safety, but which also gives tourists from other States the possibility of arriving, always safely, in Italy to enjoy our wonders and give oxygen to our economy."

Conte has stated on more than one occasion recently that Italians will be going on summer holidays, "with caution", and that the "beauty of Italy will not remain in quarantine."

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