ROME • Italy will reopen to tourists from early next month and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, the government said yesterday, as it quickened its exit from the coronavirus lockdown.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte enforced a shutdown in early March to counter the pandemic that has so far killed more than 31,600 people in Italy.
The shutdown halted all holiday-making in a country heavily dependent on the tourism industry.
Beginning on June 3, all visitors will be allowed in with no obligation to self-isolate for two weeks.
Movements to and from abroad can be limited by regional decree "in relation to specific states and territories, in accordance with the principles of adequacy and proportionality to the epidemiological risk", the Italian government said.
Greece has also said it will reopen some air and sea links from tomorrow as it begins exiting its lockdown in the hope that Covid-19 is sufficiently under control to allow tourists in.
Some European carriers have announced that they will be resuming some flights to fellow European Union countries. Air France has stated it will be resuming Paris-Athens links from Saturday.
Countries are proceeding cautiously as they mull the extent to which they can open up their borders without the risk of another wave of infections.
In an apparent step back from a previous position, the British government on Friday said no exemption has been granted to French travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from its proposed new two-week quarantine rules.
That contradicts an earlier joint statement from the French and British governments that an exception would be made for travellers arriving from France.
In Asia, Indonesia's Health Ministry announced on Friday that all Indonesians and foreign nationals entering the country will need a health certificate from the country of origin, certifying a negative Covid-19 test result, Antara reported.
Health officials at ports of entry will also conduct health screenings, issuing a Health Alert Card to travellers who have passed the screening and have a negative Covid-19 test result. These travellers will then need to self-isolate for 14 days, and Indonesian citizens have to report to their neighbourhood chief.
Those visitors who do not have a health certificate will be tested for Covid-19 at the port of entry.
Thailand's Royal Gazette on Friday announced that China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau were to be removed from its list of "dangerous disease zones" from yesterday.
However, Thailand yesterday extended a ban on international passenger flights until the end of next month, the country's aviation regulator said, which means flights from China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau into Thailand are still banned.
In Singapore, discussions about lifting travel restrictions between the Republic and other countries are also under way, but it is too early to say with which countries these curbs will first be relaxed.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday that the easing of restrictions must be done in a safe and controlled manner.
As countries formulate plans for reopening borders and businesses, airlines are expecting to see a return of some passenger traffic, but also know they need to adjust for demand.
Singapore Airlines on Thursday reported its first annual loss, of $212 million, citing poor fuel hedging bets and the collapse in demand driven by the pandemic.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA