Italy is ready to open its borders to travelers.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that the country will be implementing a “green pass” for travelers in the coming weeks.
“From the second half of June the European Green Pass will be ready,” Draghi said after a meeting between G20 tourism ministers (via The Local).
“In the meantime, the Italian government will introduce a national green pass, which will come into force starting in the second half of May”.
Like the vaccine passports being implemented in other parts of the world, Italy’s Green Pass will require travelers to provide proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test, or a previous infection.
“It is valid for everyone, also and above all for tourists from outside the EU”, Italian tourism minister Massimo Garavaglia told news channel Sky TG24. “All you need is a simple piece of paper certifying that you respect the rules, [and that] you’re vaccinated, you’re immune because you’ve had the disease, or you have had a negative test.”
By opening its borders with this new green pass, Italy is following in the footsteps over other European Union member nations like France and Greece, both of which are implementing similar strategies.
Italy was extremely hard-hit by the pandemic, which forced the closure of its borders for a prolonged period. That was bad news for the country’s tourism sector, which accounted for a significant 13 percent of its GDP in 2019.
Draghi believes Italy is ready to move on from that dark chapter and return to its place as one of the world’s most popular destinations.
“The world wants to travel to Italy, the pandemic has forced us to close, but Italy is ready to welcome back the world,” he said. “It’s time to book your holiday in Italy, we can’t wait to welcome you again.”