Italian plan for ‘Covid-free islands’ before summer with the aim of saving tourism



The Italian islands are mobilizing to achieve collective vaccination and thus save summer tourism, with the arrival also of foreigners. The Italian tourism sector, which fears competition from Spain and Greece, is pushing for full opening at the beginning of the summer holidays. The Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, He confirmed the need for herd immunity in the smaller islands: “Greece has many islands and that is why it is moving in that direction. We can do it too. It is about creating mechanisms by which it is easy to circulate ». The plan is also supported by the president of the national association of hoteliers (Federalberghi), Bernabó Mouth: “It is essential to present the islands of Italy as safe destinations, otherwise tourists will go to other destinations,” said Bocca.

The plan is easy on the small islands, more complicated and with some controversy on the large ones. The Campania region includes Ischia, the largest in the Neapolitan archipelago with 70,000 inhabitants, famous for its thermal waters, the chancellor’s vacation spot. Angela Merkel;
Capri, with 14,000 inhabitants, famous for its beauty and worldly life, although the glamor of other times is far behind; and Prócida (10,500 inhabitants), setting for the movie ‘The Talent of Mr. Ripley’. There are picturesque islands like the Aeolian archipelago north of Sicily (Lípari, Panarea, Vulcano, Strmboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi), or the Aeolian, Aegadian and Pelagian islands, without forgetting others from Ponza (Latina) to Tremiti ( Apulia) to the Tuscan Elba and Giglio.

On going

The prime minister, Mario Draghi, has agreed to vaccinate as soon as possible the populations of the islands “with a strong tourist vocation.” Some Italian media, such as ‘Il Messaggero’, have advanced that the plan is underway. The affected mayors received in recent days a letter from the Operations Center directed by the extraordinary commissioner for the Covid emergency, el general Francesco Figliuolo, on “the organizational preparation to carry out the vaccination campaign in favor of the population of the smaller islands.” However, this objective must be made compatible with the directive also given by Draghi to promote, as a priority, the vaccination of those over 75 years of age.

The smaller islands hope to achieve herd immunity before the summer. More difficult is the plan for the two main islands: Sardinia (1.64 million inhabitants) and Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, with 5 million inhabitants. Its presidents too have asked Mario Draghi be included in Commissioner Francesco Figliuolo’s vaccination plan so that they become Covid-free islands. They say they are even willing to buy the necessary doses of vaccine on their own.


But the island plan is already arousing suspicions and protests in other tourist destinations. The president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, has written on Facebook: “I hope that the Minister of Tourism Garavaglia will immediately reject the proposal for Covid-free islands. There cannot be privileged tourist places to the detriment of others ». Likewise, the president of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, who has just been unanimously elected president of the Conference of Regional Presidents, has joined his colleague Bonaccini in the protest: “Right now we have to show the country that there is justice. Do not create social tensions, but give the same rules everywhere. The less inequalities, although not everyone is satisfied, the less tensions.

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