Italy will open its borders to all European Union countries with no mandatory quarantine required from June 3, as part of the efforts to “relaunch the economy,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the country's lower house of parliament on Thursday.
On May 13 Conte blasted the EU's proposal to allow “tourist corridors” between nations in the bloc with similar epidemiological conditions.
“We will not accept bilateral accords within the European Union that might create privileged tourist channels,” he said at the time.
“That would leave us outside the European Union and we will never allow this.”
On May 16 Conte said that “if the data continue[d] to be encouraging” Italian borders would be open to those from within the EU’s Schengen Zone, but the country's stance on a mandatory quarantine for travelers was unclear.
Conte's announcement on Thursday clarifies the matter, extending the open borders policy to the entire EU bloc. Britons, who are now outside the EU, will also be included. He also confirmed that no quarantine would be necessary for EU travelers.
The Italian Prime Minister did not say what would happen if the contagion rate started to climb.
EU sources have confirmed to CNN that the point of mandatory quarantine has been the subject of behind-the-scenes debate in recent days.
“We must accept this risk and we cannot stop and wait for a vaccine,” Conte said.
“Otherwise we would never be in a position to relaunch again and we would find ourselves with a productive and social fabric inevitably compromised.”
Everyone who enters Italy will have to wear face coverings and observe social distancing requirements, Conte added.