“Our goal is to reopen Italy for tourism, domestic and international,” Draghi said as he answered questions from parliament on Wednesday evening.
“The pandemic has had vast economic effects on the tourism industry and we’re working to get it going again as soon as possible and in maximum safety.”
While the first step is to vaccinate as many residents of Italy as possible before the summer, Draghi said, he also indicated that Italy would revise its strict rules on entering from overseas.
READ ALSO: Which countries will Italy reopen to in May?
The government will support quarantine-free travel for vaccinated visitors from “in particular the United States, Japan and Canada”, he promised, without giving details of when Italy would change its entry requirements.
Last weekend Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio suggested that tourists from the US would be allowed to return from June, the month that the European Union has pledged to reopen to vaccinated or tested travellers from outside the bloc.
In recent days government ministers have repeatedly indicated that a change in Italy’s travel rules is imminent without giving a firm date, to the confusion and frustration of people trying to finalise holiday plans.
Leaders of the G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU – are due to meet from June 11-13th, with travel sure to be on the agenda. An agreement on resuming tourism could follow soon after.
Draghi also pledged to expand “Covid-tested” flights, which allow passengers to skip quarantine if they test negative for coronavirus before departure and on arrival, to “more airlines, more routes and more airports”.
Currently such flights are only in operation between New York or Atlanta in the US to Rome or Milan.
“We will however maintain all precautions necessary for countries in which Covid and its most dangerous variants are known to be widespread,” Draghi said.
Italy has banned travel from India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka until at least the end of May in response to the highly infectious new variant spreading rapidly in India and neighbouring countries.
- How to get Italy’s coronavirus immunity ‘green pass’ for travel
- Which Covid vaccines will Italy accept for tourists this summer?
- How will the EU’s ‘Covid passport’ system work for travel in Europe?
Travellers from EU or Schengen countries, as well as the UK or Israel, are allowed to visit Italy but are subject to testing and a five-day quarantine.
Tourists from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand are also admitted, but must quarantine for ten days.
Meanwhile travellers from the US, Canada, Japan or any other country outside the EU are only allowed to enter Italy for essential reasons, not including tourism. Those permitted to enter must quarantine for ten days, unless they take a Covid-tested flight.