There’s big news for those of us suffering from an unshakeable, all-encompassing state of when-can-I-pack-my-suitcase-and-go-on-holiday wanderlust. After the Italian government confirmed this week that Italy and the UAE would operate flights for business purposes from May 18, The Gaggler has learned that a travel corridor for tourists between the two countries is set to be up and running “within days”.
Italy formally reopened its borders on Sunday, May 16 for restriction-free travel for visitors from several countries – EU member states and the UK included – provided they present a negative PCR test, show proof of full vaccination, or recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months.
And on the opening night of this year’s Arabian Travel Market, the Italian Government National Tourist Board announced that visitors from the UAE will soon be able to join those countries, travelling to Italy without the need to quarantine upon arrival.
“I’m very glad to say that in the next few days, the same COVID-tested flights that are operating from a select number of countries will be extended to the UAE,” revealed Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of Italy in Dubai. “Being one of the countries with the highest vaccination rates, I’d like to commend the very effective anti-COVID policies, including the fast-paced vaccination campaign implemented by the UAE government. In pre-COVID times, Italy was one of the top destinations for travellers from the UAE, so it was of utmost importance for us to relaunch tourism between our countries, with all safety measures required by the current situation in place. We will be truly thrilled to soon see UAE tourists back in Italy.”
While no opening date for the travel corridor has been announced, Italy is keen to join the likes of Greece, Georgia, Serbia and the Seychelles in allowing UAE tourists to enjoy its legendary hospitality and reignite its tourism industry once again.
“Italy is back – and I hope that our government will be able to confirm the opening of the UAE travel corridor before the end of May,” Alessandro Cabella, Managing Director of Rome Cavalieri, told The Gaggler. “Although no confirmed date has been announced, once the travel corridor is opened, no quarantine will be required when a visitor from the UAE arrives in Italy, as long as they can prove that they are fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test.”
With Italy sticking to rigorous international safety regulations – much like the UAE – visitors should expect strict rules regarding health and safety in place all over the country. “Wearing face masks, both indoors and outdoors is mandatory, social distancing and restricted capacity allowances are being enforced, and there are nighttime curfews, meaning the earlier-than-usual closing times of most restaurants and bars must be respected,” added Alessandro, who oversees seven of Hilton’s most luxurious properties across Italy.
“We launched the Hilton Clean Stay programme last year to protect both customers and staff from any kind of virus contamination, and ensure the highest level of sanitation is on offer in our hotels,” he continued. ‘This programme was implemented across all of our hotels last March, and it will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future – it’s vital to guarantee the maximum level of hygienic security for everyone who comes to stay at one of our properties.”
With the UAE’s rapid vaccination programme to thank for our highly anticipated reconnection with Italy, we’re keeping everything crossed that similarly awesome news from other countries will be revealed in the coming days. Watch this space!