Italy has announced plans to reopen its borders to people arriving from the European Union (EU) member countries, countries within the Schengen Zone, as well as the United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Ireland.
The reopening, which will take effect on 3rd June 2020, seeks to revive the country’s tourism industry, which contributes close to 13% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the government, they will also abolish the 14-day mandatory quarantine for people arriving from abroad and will open regional and international borders. The compulsory quarantine will only be imposed on people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, or those who have had close contact with people with the virus.
Nonetheless, the reopening does not extend to residents of the United States.
Other lockdown restrictions that have already started being eased include reopening of restaurants, bars, shops, gyms, and swimming pools. Cinemas and theaters are set to reopen on 15th June 2020.
The Associated Press reports that between March and May 2020, Italy lost 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) from foreign travelers based on numbers from 2019.
The Italian government has approved a second stimulus package worth 55 billion euros ($59.5 billion) in a bid to reduce the economic impact of the virus. The package focuses on liquidity for businesses and aid to families hurt by the lockdown.
Bloomberg reports that the European Commission estimates Italy’s economy will shrink 9.5% this year, with the country’s debt rising to over 150% of gross domestic product (GDP).