Tuscany (and Italy) Open Again for Tourism

San Gimignano, a popular destination for tourists

In the G20 summit on tourism that took place virtually on May 4 with representatives of the world’s major economies, including the European Union, the main topic discussed was the future of tourism and some guidelines for action were discussed. After the summit, Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, said that it was time for people to start planning their vacations in Italy.

Prior to May 2021, EU citizens who planned to go to Italy and residents who wish to return need to quarantine for a minimum of five days no matter if they are vaccinated or show a negative test. Thanks to an ordinance signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza, starting on May 16, Italy will offer a “green pass” to travel to the country.  The “green pass” is a documentation or proof of the traveler that he/she is fully vaccinated, or that he/she has fully recovered after being infected not more than six months prior to the date of travel, or the results of a negative COVID test no earlier than 48 hours prior to departure. With the “green pass” travelers will not be required to self isolate after arriving to Italy.

There will be an European Union “green pass” that will start around mid-June, which will be valid for travel among the 27 EU member states.  Italy is starting with their own Italian “green pass” a month earlier. When the EU “green pass” starts then that will be the only one needed and not the Italian one.

Right now, in Italy, 25% of the population has received the first vaccine while only 10% has received the second dose and are fully immunized. The only accepted vaccines approved by the EU are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. People in China or Russia who are fully immunized with other vaccines like Sputnik won’t be able to travel to Italy because their vaccines are still not authorized by the EU.

Hopefully in the near future the “green pass” may be available to US citizens, a place where the majority of the population have been vaccinated. Citizens of countries with high number of positive COVID cases will not be able to travel to Italy until cases and COVID are under control.

The tourism industry in Italy lost around 28 billion euros in 2020 due to the country being closed because of the pandemic. The impact of this caused Italy’s GNP (Gross National Product) to decrease by 6%. Hopefully this “green pass” will help to rebuild the tourism sector.

The “green pass” will also allow families to physically reunite and return to visit their relatives in rest or assisted living homes on an experimental basis through July 31.  (tatiana lopez)