For now, this is only an idea. But the push to make it reality is strong.
While some Italian destinations are already looking ahead, the government isn’t sure about the plan of Covid-free islands.
In theory, the plan of the Italian government is: opening up some islands. The criteria include having an adeguate hospital system, at least one ICU, and follow the safety and health measures. This way, the islands should be able to guarantee a safe summer. The concept is: vaccinate here first. And vaccinate the whole population of the islands.
The Presidents of insular regions like Sardinia and Sicily are pressuring the government to confirm these regulations. Both governors asked the Italian Prime Minister Draghi to be brave. In their opinion, the concept should go beyond full, 100% vaccinations of the small islands like the Eolie. Instead, immunize the two main islands, like Sardinia and Sicily.
On the other hand, the President of the region Regione Emilia-Romagna asked the government ot reject this idea. On a Facebook post, Bonaccini wrote “there can’t be privileged tourism destinations.” In fact, Emilia isn’t an island.
Still, these are only talks. As the vaccination campaign has been slow, it seems like no one can guarantee a Covid-free summer. Maybe. Another proposal is the vaccine passport, like the European Green Pass. In this uncertainty, one thing is for sure: nothing is certain.
Covid-free islands, the frontrunners
Of course, the goal of this campaign is to promote tourism, an industry that suffered in 2020. And a lucrative sector for Italy. While the government is deciding, some destinations are moving ahead with their plan.
This Sicilian archipelago is aiming at becoming 100% Covid-free by the beginning of summer. Seven islands make this archipelago and each has a vaccine hub, so locals don’t need to take the ferry.
This Southern region has some of the most popular tourism destination. Islands such as Capri, Ischia, and Procida are in Campania. And there is a regional plan to make them Covid-free. On April 10th, the mayor of Capri, Marino Lembo, said “in two weeks the island will be immune and every citizen will be vaccinated, to restart the season is safety.”
This Tuscan island is a positive example in the vaccination effort. It counts 25000 people and over 5000 of them have already received the doses. Other islands in Tuscany are waiting for the final government’s decision to move ahead with their plans.
Still, while PM Draghi is uncertain, these destinations are dreaming of an open, immune, Italian summer. But not everyone agrees they should have the priority.
..and the mountains?
The short answer is: they don’t matter. At least to the tourism industry. In fact, there is no Covid-free mountains debate. Despite the popularity of places like the Dolomites, the Italian government doesn’t have a plan for it. And that’s a certainty.