Italy will reopen its borders from June 3 without restrictions as it seeks to further ease its lockdown and restart the eurozone’s third-largest economy.
On Saturday the Italian government published a decree that will allow entry in and out of the country and lift all restrictions on internal movement in an attempt to kick-start the country’s tourism industry in time for the summer.
More than 31,000 people have died due to Covid-19 in Italy, the third-highest figure behind the US and UK, but new cases and deaths have been on the decline with only 262 fatalities reported on Friday.
Rome has come under pressure from businesses and regions to restart the economy as quickly as possible. The lifting of travel restrictions comes after the Italian government said shops and restaurants would be allowed to reopen under social distancing measures from May 18.
In early March Italy became the first country in Europe to impose a lockdown. The Italian economy is forecast by the IMF to suffer a fall in gross domestic product of 9.1 per cent this year. It contracted by 4.7 per cent in the first quarter compared with the final three months of 2019.
From May 18 restrictions on people moving within their own regions will be lifted and churches will be allowed to reopen.
Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s prime minister, this week bowed to pressure from the Italian regions and agreed to reopen bars, restaurants and hairdressers on May 18, brought forward from the start of June.
Despite the relaxation of travel restrictions, gatherings in public places will still be prohibited.
The Italian government will retain the ability to reimpose lockdown measures nationally if there is a spike Covid-19 cases.
Some Italian regional governors, including those on Sardegna and Campania, where Capri and Naples are located, have considered the introduction of health passports and the imposition of a 14-day quarantine for those entering the region.
Italy’s national government has said that it is the only authority that can impose restrictions on travellers and a 14-day quarantine will not be mandatory for those entering the country.
Earlier this week Mr Conte passed a €55bn government stimulus package after more than a month of delays. The measures include €25.6bn set aside to help Italian workers, €15bn for businesses, and €3.25bn for the Italian health system.
Italy’s agriculture minister, Teresa Bellanova, said the government would take steps to allow undocumented farm workers to formalise their migration status, a move that was attacked by Italy’s rightwing opposition as an amnesty for illegal migrants.