Italy is reopening its borders to tourists from within the European Union for the first time since going on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic nearly three months ago.
The European country lifted international travel restrictions on Wednesday, and said that most arrivals into the country will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. That includes tourists coming in from the 26 other nations in the European Union — as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.
“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised speech announcing the reopening, according to The Independent.
"We have to accept it otherwise we will never be able to start up again," he added.
While domestic travel restrictions between regions of Italy have also been lifted, the international flights will only resume in three major cities — Milan, Rome and Naples.
MARCO SABADIN/AFP via Getty Saint Marks Square, Venice
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By early May, residents were finally allowed to enjoy the outdoors and visit relatives as long as they maintain physical distance from others, and almost 4 million Italians also returned to work for the first time since the outbreak hit as the country began to open up a small number of businesses.
At its peak, Italy reported over 6,550 new cases of the virus in a single day, but the country has seen their number of cases declining since late March. To date, the country accounts for 233,515 of global coronavirus cases and 33,530 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins database.
Italy's border reopening comes after the country's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio implored other countries not to treat Italy "like a leper," EuroNews reported. He is scheduled to visit Germany, Slovenia and Greece this upcoming weekend to encourage tourism to Italy.
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