When will Italy reopen to travellers? Bars and restaurants back in business on June 1 – The Sun

ITALY is reducing their lockdown restrictions first put into place last month as cases of coronavirus begin to slow.

With de-escalations from May 4, this doesn't mean the country will be open to tourists any time soon.

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Italy has enforced one of the strongest lockdowns in the world, with locals forced to stay at home since March 9, and only being able to travel for essential reasons such as food or medicine with permission from police.

While some of the restrictions were lifted on April 14, with some shops reopening, there are three phases to restarting the Italian economy

Building sites as well as the textile and fashion industry will be the first to reopen on May 4.

The week after, clothing, shoe and other shops are said to be allowed to raise the shutters, followed by bars, restaurants and hairdressers on May 18, which will have to keep a distance of one metre between customers.

Flights are not currently running to Italy, however, with carriers including easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair stopping services until at least mid-June.

This means it is unlikely tourists will be able to visit the country before the summer, although government officials have warned that even summer holidays to Italy may be off the cards.

UK transport minister Grant Schapps said "I won't be booking a summer holiday at this point, let's put it that way," while EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen also warned: "At the moment, no one can make reliable forecasts for July and August".

While hotels haven't been forced to close, many have done so due to a lack of customers.

Venice hotel owner Sandro Ferrari told the Telegraph: "All my bookings till the end of June have been cancelled."

She added this year will be "difficult" with only five bookings in October.

Tour guides are also fearing a return of international tourists is unlikely until at least the end of the year.

Agnes Crawford, who runs tours in Rome, said she expects "movement within the European Union by the end of 2020" but US tourists nearer Easter 2021.

Currently it is looking like the most likely holidays in Italy will be by Italians themselves, or by the richer families, who can afford a private jet to a secluded retreat.

Resorts that are busier with package holiday guests will need to make huge changes to keep people social distancing.

A resort in Puglia is introducing roped-off areas and 1.5m distancing between loungers, as well as stopping bar queues for food and drink.

Another beach proposed "plexi-glass cubes" which were quickly shot down by local authorities.

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An island in Italy is offering to pay for half of your plane ticket, as well as a night at a hotel and your attraction entry fees in a bid to encourage tourists to return.

Sicily, located off the south of Italy, is attempting to lure foreign visitors back to the island after the lockdown ends on May 4.

For every three nights you stay at a hotel, they will cover one of them, along with museum and archeological entry tickets.

The government will use €50 million (£43 million) to fund the scheme, with losses of €1 billion (£876,000) reported from March and April.


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