Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, announced over the weekend, that on May 4th the country will gradually ease lockdown measures, however he emphasized:

“If you love Italy, keep your distance.”

This is only ‘Phase 1’ of re-opening the country and things will happen slowly. Firstly, parks and public gardens on May 4th, will finally start to open and people can begin going for walks or exercise outdoors, as long as physical distancing is maintained. However, many rules and regulations will still be upheld and necessary documentation stipulating the reason for activity out of the home, must be on hand. Failing to provide a written statement may lead to a fine.

Public transport will start to run more consistently in urban centres, however train routes between regions and cities will be severely restricted and anyone boarding public transport must continue to wear face masks.

“We all want the country to restart,” said the Prime Minister, “However, the only way to live with the virus in this phase is to not fall ill – and social distancing.”

Italian citizens will be able to travel within their regions to visit family as long as face masks are worn, however movement between regions will continue to be banned unless for work, health or other emergency purposes.

It is not safe or wise to travel to Italy for quite sometime, at least until Italy can make it past Phase 1, which will be a test of the citizens vigilance and adherence to the new laws and restrictions set forth. It really comes down to the will of the Italian people at this point and until this first test can be passed, we are not advising travellers to come to Italy, for a visit during these times would not be safe nor would it be pleasurable.

In fact, if you see special offerings from the spring and even summer months, be very careful about what you commit to right now in so far as cancellations and refunds are concerned. There are number or risks associated with traveling to Italy in May and even June.

Note, the risk factors travellers planning on coming in May or June still need to consider:

  1. Italy is composed of 21 different regions and each region is divide into provinces. Take for example Rome. Rome is both a city and a province located in the region of Lazio. The region of Lazio may have very different rules that the region of Sicily and so traveling between the two areas may be severely restricted depending on the regional laws.
  2. Many establishments in Italy, including hotels may not open for the season, meaning that you may find yourself in Italy with no place to stay and with very limited access to enjoy the ‘dolce vita’ as you might expect while on vacation.
  3. Insurance policies may not cover your trip to Italy right now given the risks still associated with traveling.
  4. Airline routes and flights which may still be showing as operating on the internet, may in fact cancel these routes at the last minute
  5. Many tour operators, ferry companies, transport companies and rail lines may need to cancel at the last minute due to a lack of participants or rules and regulations.
  6. Italy is coming back to life right now after nearly two months of lockdown and just getting traction again. Some businesses will have closed doors permanently after the economic devastation the pandemic has caused meaning that the ‘mood’ you might typically expect to find in Italy on your vacation, might be a very different one than is customary.

The fact of the matter is that we do not know what the next 2 months in Italy will look like, but due to the variability it is better to be safe than sorry and plan for a future date when the phase 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been successfully implemented.

Italy as a nation will get through this crisis and it will be there to visit in six months or even a year from now. Exercising patience and caution right now is absolutely imperative for the country to rebound both economically and culturally from the Covid-19 pandemic and we are all confident that it can and that it will.

With this in mind, while it’s a wonderful time to start learning and planning a future trip to Italy, it is best to let Italy evolve and heal itself before it is safe to travel in the next few months, after which we will all have a clearer picture of what the future may hold.

It is better to be safe than sorry and postpone your vacation to Italy until a future date when the country has had some time to recover, rebound and heal some of the wounds that the Covid-19 pandemic has created.

We will be the first to keep you updated as to how things are going, the state of things across the country and with honesty and integrity in the future help you plan the most incredible journey in this incredible place.

Time really does heal all wounds and Italy will be healed too!

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