Italy presents vaccination plan for COVID-free islands to revive summer tourism season
The Italian authorities have put in place a new vaccination plan for the “ Covid-free islands ” which aims to vaccinate all residents of the holiday islands in order to help the country’s tourism sector recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus .
The idea follows the initiative of the Greek Ministry of Tourism on the basis of its four-point plan to help the tourism sector in the midst of the third wave of the coronavirus, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The Italian government program would prioritize citizens of small islands to get vaccinated, such as those in the regions of Sicily and Campania, including Ischia, Procida and Capri, the Aeolian, Aegadian and Pelagian Islands, and the Tremiti Islands of Puglia, as well as the island of Elba in Tuscany.
At the same time, the presidents of the Sardinia and Sicily regions also urged the government to vaccinate their citizens as soon as possible in order to help their tourism sector recover this summer.
The Commissioner General for Emergencies, Francesco Figliuolo, had previously announced that he had accepted the proposal to start the vaccination of all people in the small Italian islands from the end of this month. However, such an announcement has not been confirmed.
âWe could do it. There is an open table, “ Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia told reporters when asked if the government would approve the plan.
However, the idea was not unanimously supported by the Italian authorities, as it is considered impractical.
The president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, stressed that the country’s tourist destinations “cannot be prioritized over others. “
In this regard, the President of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, stressed that the deployment of the vaccine should be âequal” or else “social tensions could erupt. “
Researcher Matteo Villa said the idea was “Illogical because it would mean wasted doses on a young population, whereas they could be used on the elderly”, through a statement posted on Twitter.
The Italian government has yet to give a firm date for the resumption of holiday travel in the summer, although Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia has suggested it could happen on June 2.
The contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the country’s gross domestic product marked a gradual increase from 2009 to 2019, before the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
According to figures from Statista, this industry brought in a total of 169 billion euros to Italy‘s GDP in 2019. Its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product reached its highest level in 2019 when travel and tourism brought in 233 billion. euros to Italian GDP. In the same year, the share of GDP generated by this industry reached 13 percent.
In an effort to protect its citizens and prevent a new wave of the virus, the Italian government announced earlier this month that it has decided to extend the quarantine requirements for anyone wishing to enter the country from the states of the European Union until the end of this month.
Authorities across the country announced last month that all people must be tested for coronavirus disease and follow the five-day quarantine rule upon arrival in Italy.