Italian Tourism Will Continue in 2020, False Reports of Italian Tourism Closing Made by Russia

Italy will not be closed off to tourists during 2020, according to Girgio Palmucci, the President of the Italian National Tourist Board (INIT).

“Tourism in Italy will start again, with all precautions and in maximum safety, Dario Franceschini, (minister of cultural heritage, activities and tourism) did well to clarify that no border closure is expected. Those who love Italy must be allowed to return to enjoy it, in compliance with governmental and regional guidelines,” Palmucci said.

While it is still unclear exactly when things will return to normal for tourism in Italy, most airports are still open, museums may be allowed to open as early ad mid-May and public private businesses like bars and restaurants may be about to open as early as 01 June.

There have not been border closings actually announced either, although the Italian government has put some strict policies in place regarding tourism and entry into Italy.

“I have never spoken, nor ever thought, of closing the Italian borders to tourists for 2020. I am working on the exact opposite. I proposed at the meeting of Tourism Ministers of the European Union, a European uniformity of the safety rules with respect to the risk of contagion, allowing the free movement of tourists within the European Union,” Palmucci said.

According to Palmucci, the current situation being due to the COVID-19 crisis has created a unique set of circumstances that the Italian government is working to get through. He said that tourism in Italy will continue with caution, and that the people who love Italy should be allowed to visit, given that they follow government policies put in place because of COVID-19.

“Tourism in Italy will start again, with caution and maximum safety.  Minister Franceschini did well to clarify that no border closure is foreseen,” Palmucci said. He added that “those who love Italy must be allowed to return to enjoy it, in compliance with governmental and regional provisions.”

Previous reports that Italian tourism would be shut down for the entirety of the year 2020 were false, and some were likely propagated and echoed by Russian media outlets. The Italian Embassy to Moscow promptly denied the reports, which have left open comments and questions from other Italian officials.

“The matter of Italy closing its state borders has not been discussed,” an announcement the Embassy stated.

Italian Minister of Culture and Tourism Dario Franceschini also commented on the false nature of the reports from Russian media.

“As is all too obvious, I have never spoken, nor ever thought, of closing the Italian borders to tourists for 2020,” Franceschini said. He added that “I am working on the exact opposite. I proposed yesterday at the meeting of tourism ministers of the European Union, a European uniformity of the safety rules with respect to the risk of contagion, allowing the free movement of tourists within the European Union. So, we’re starting bilateral talks with other countries that have a lot of tourism going to Italy.”

Franceschini stated that the reports from Russia come with hostile intentions, presumably to drive public interest and goodwill away from Italy.

“Unfortunately, it is clear that fake news on closed borders is being circulated, with hostile intentions towards our country,” Franceschini said.

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