Italy relaxes some COVID-19 rules for tourism boost

 Monday, May 2, 2022 

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The summer holiday vacations have just the holidaymakers from UK, India and USA heading to Europe. After Greece, Italy has also relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday before Europe’s peak summer tourist season, in a sign that life was increasingly returning to normal. Now, visitors to Italy no longer have to fill out the European Union passenger locator form, a complicated online ordeal required at airport check-in.

 Italy also did away with the health pass that had been required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues.

The green pass, which showed proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus or a recent negative test, is still required to access hospitals and nursing homes.

Some indoor mask mandates in Italy also ended, including inside supermarkets, workplaces and stores. The mandatory masks are still required on public transport, in cinemas and in all health care facilities and nursing homes.

The mandatory masks also remain highly recommended in Italy for all indoor activities, and private companies can still require them.

In Greece, where tourism accounts for about 20% of its GNP, enforcing the rules had already fallen off prior to Sunday. Greece’s civil aviation authority announced that it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights except for the wearing of face masks during flights and at airports. Previously, the air travellers were required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery from the disease.

The vaccination certificates in Greece were abolished, not permanently, but from May 1 to August 31 and it will be determined in August whether to bring them back. Also suspended were restrictions on the number of customers in indoor spaces.

But masks are still required indoors and in vehicles in Greece, and experts recommend using them outdoors in crowded situations like concerts.

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