By Susan Sherren-President of Couture Global Trips
Italy's citizens were struck down early on during the pandemic suffering a huge loss of lives; to date, there have been over 100,00 deaths in Italy. It comes as no surprise that Italian officials would institute conservative measures and practices to open up their beautiful country to tourists. We have become accustomed to COVID- free flights, pre-travel testing requirements, and quarantines. It is quite logical that COVID-free trains will become the new norm. Gianfranco Battisti, CEO of state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, has said, "We will launch a covid-free train at the start of April." "We have chosen the Rome to Milan route for the initial testing phase. Then we will implement this for tourist destinations for the summer." "It will be a unique opportunity which will allow people to visit destinations such as Venice and Florence." On these popular routes, the staff and passengers will be tested for COVID-19 before boarding the train. To accomplish this, passengers will need to arrive an hour before the departure time. The goal is to use these new policies to jump-start tourism in Italy once borders are reopened. Tourism is 14% of Italy's economy, and many people in Italy rely on tourism as their primary source of income. The Red Cross and the Italian Civil Protection sponsors of the coordinated government efforts will oversee testing at 11 primary train stations. The major stations include Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, Venice Mestre, and Bari, for those wishing to access Puglia. Termini station in Rome is slated to become a major point for vaccine administration. Giovanni Rezza, Director of Prevention of Italy's Health Ministry, predicted it would take between seven and fifteen months to return to some type of normality within the country.Unfortunately, Italy currently is battling with the third wave of Covid-19, and health services remained strained in some areas. While Italy is currently closed to U.S. tourists, we remain committed to keeping you updated on the latest testing requirements abroad. Once Italy opens its doors, you will likely face either presenting proof vaccination or COVID-19 testing requirements to travel on Italy's trains. Please visit www.couturetrips.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in planning your next great escape.