Italy Welcomes Regional Travel But is No One Welcoming Italy?
Reopening Italy: Regional Borders Open June 3
From June 3, Italy welcomes regional travel, and Italians shall gain freedom of travel between regions. There will be no more quarantining even for those arriving from abroad. This decision came after days of negotiations between politicians and governors of some regions who opposed the decree fearing a new wave of contagions.
The concession was released by the President of the Council Conte after the mediation of the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, Francesco Boccia, who wanting to reassure opponents allowed them to track anyone who arrives in the region and keep their data for 2 weeks. There is, therefore, the possibility of registering entries and voluntarily carrying out serological tests, in this case by having hoteliers propose the test to their customers.
There is no new Conte DPCM (ministerial decree) – freedom of movement had already been foreseen in the decree of May 18 – but a strong appeal was made to the sense of individual responsibility of citizens as we are far from zero risk on the coronavirus front. Citizens and tourists must keep in mind the correct behaviors to be taken with regard to social distancing, the prohibition of gathering, and the use of masks where it is not possible to keep the distance of at least one meter from other people.
Regions will have the possibility, in the event of a considerable increase in cases, to establish new “red zones” and to sign restrictive orders to limit travel again. Minister Boccia has given the go-ahead to the southern regions that have had limited numbers of infections – such as Sicily and Sardinia – and ask to be able to carry out checks on arrivals.
Puglia has established that the local police will carry out the checks. The request for a health passport as evidence of the negativity of COVID-19 for those who arrive in Sardinia, as requested by the Sardinian President Christian Solinas, was rejected. The request is considered non-constitutional.
Travel by Planes and Ships
Checks are also in place for those traveling on board planes and ships. starting from the time of boarding with temperature measurement and general tracking. Passengers will be asked to fill out a form with information (travel, previous contacts, etc.) which will be at the discretion of the governors of the regions. The questionnaire could also be extended to their family members. If one has come into direct contact with an infected person, s/he will have to be quarantined. However, it will not be possible to impose the serological test, which remains voluntary even if there are those who think about the possibility of including it in the holiday package.
The ban on Italians by some EU member countries
Greece is reopening its borders to tourists arriving from 29 countries, but Italy is not on their list along with France, Spain, and Great Britain. Austria, Croatia, and Switzerland have also announced similar guidelines.
This is in contrast to the agreements established at the EU Foreign Ministers’ Conference on May 18. While Italy has announced the reopening of borders to all EU citizens starting on June 3, it is the opinion of many that “bilateral corridors” are created between EU countries that exclude Italy, penalizing the entire tourism sector. Switzerland, which also has a number of COVID-19 cases, is not far from the Italian scenario. If compared to the population, it has decided to reopen its borders with Austria, France, and Germany, but not with Italy. Berlin, in turn, will allow German citizens to go on vacation to Greece, but not to Italy.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Di Maio, plans to meet soon with the responsible authorities of the EU countries.
Two celebrations – in sequence
On June 2, Italy celebrates Republic Day in a calm tone given the circumstance including no military forces parades. On June 1, President Sergio Mattarella participated in a concert from the Quirinale gardens in memory of the coronavirus victims. On June 2, he will take part in the ceremony of depositing a crown at the Altare della Patria before going to Codogno, the location where the first case of Italian COVID-19 was discovered, to meet local authorities in the town hall.
Meanwhile, the Municipality of Bergamo will organize a ritual commemoration of the province’s coronavirus victims on June 28.
The idea is to perform a “Requiem Mass by Gaetano Donizzetti.” The location will be in front of the monumental cemetery at sunset and will be dedicated to the many families who have not been able to give a last farewell to their loved ones. The President of the Republic was also invited to the ceremony.