Italy to reopen for tourists this summer

Italy will reopen to vaccinated, recovered or covid-negative tourists as country prepares to introduce travel pass in mid-May.

Italian premier Mario Draghi has invited tourists to book their summer holidays in Italy, announcing plans to introduce a covid travel pass from the middle of May in a bid to boost the country's hard-hit tourism industry.

Draghi announced that Italy would launch its own 'green' national travel pass for those who have been vaccinated, have just tested negative or can prove they have recently recovered from covid-19.

The move by Italy comes a month ahead of the European Union health travel pass which is set to be introduced in mid-June to allow easy travel across the EU.

Speaking after an online meeting of tourism ministers from the Group of 20 wealthy nations on 4 May, Draghi said: "The time has come to book your holidays in Italy," adding: “Our mountains, our beaches, our cities are reopening.”

Italy is among the EU countries most in favour of the EU travel pass, desperate to restart its crucial tourism sector which generates some 13 per cent of the country's economic output.

Currently those arriving in Italy from the EU must quarantine for five days on arrival however this requirement is expected to be dropped after it expires on 15 May.

"The world wants to travel to Italy" - Draghi said - "the pandemic has forced us to close but Italy is ready to welcome back the world."