Under new rules that come into force from Sunday, Italy will also extend so-called “Covid-free” flights, currently in place to and from the United States, to Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
At the same time, measures blocking arrivals from Brazil have been extended.
“Health Minister Roberto Speranza has signed a decree that provides for entry from countries in the EU and the Schengen area, as well as Britain and Israel, with a negative test, overcoming the current system of mini-quarantine,” the spokesman said.
Visitors from those countries have until now been required to undergo a five-day quarantine and two coronavirus tests.
Now visitors will only need to show proof of a negative test result, though no further details of the requirement for travellers were immediately available on Friday.
US, Canada and Japan
Italy also wants to allow tourists from the United States, Canada and Japan to visit without quarantine if they have been vaccinated, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said.
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
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 firm dates for different countries, 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.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said the return of tourists is crucial to the recovery of the eurozone’s third largest economy, which was one of the EU countries worst hit by coronavirus.
Outdoor eating in cafes and restaurants resumed in Italy’s lower risk ‘yellow zones’ last month, and museums and cinemas reopened, although a 10pm curfew remains in place nationwide.
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Draghi is under pressure from the far-right League and other parties supporting his so-called ‘national unity’ government to allow further reopenings, and the issue is set to dominate scheduled coalition talks on Monday.
Italy’s rate of infections has slowed in recent weeks, while the vaccination campaign has gained pace after months of delays.
Some 26 million doses have so far been administered in the country of 60 million people, with around eight million people fully vaccinated.