After having been the most affected country in Europe for several weeks, Italy seems to have mastered the epidemic. Worried about the consequences on tourism, she wants to reopen the borders. The neighboring countries have reservations, which displeases the government.

Italy "demands respect" from other European countries regarding the next border reopening. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio calls for a coordinated "European response" to allow Europeans and especially tourists to return to Italy, now that the coronavirus seems to be under control there. 

Call for a coordinated resumption of travel on June 15

Hit hard by the new coronavirus (more than 33,000 dead in three months), Italy, seems to have mastered the epidemic and has been gradually decreasing since early May. The country is preparing for a reopening of its borders on June 3 and wants neighboring countries to do the same, in order to enjoy the "unique beauty, wonders and unique beaches" of its country.

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Rome is pushing for a coordinated resumption of travel in Europe by June 15, which would mark a continental recovery in tourism, a key sector for the Italian economy today on its knees. "We need a European response because if we act in a different and disorderly way, the spirit of the EU is lost. And Europe is collapsing," said the Italian minister.

The country should not be treated "like a plague victim"

"I have heard a lot about Italy these days. Now is not the time to argue, but I want to make one thing clear: we demand respect. If someone thinks they can treat us like a plague victim, so know that we will not remain without reacting, "warned the minister in a statement on Facebook. "Our patience has its limits. I understand the competition between the different states, it is legitimate, provided however that it is healthy and fair", he warned. 


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Luigi Di Maio recalled that Italy was being transparent about the epidemic situation. "The internal situation, all data on contagions, will always be public. We have always acted in a responsible and transparent manner and we will continue to do so," he said. 

"Italy is still a hotspot"

Several neighboring countries however refuse to reopen their land border with Italy on this date, which makes Rome cringe, which sees it as a roundabout way of preventing tourists from coming to the peninsula.

This is particularly the case for Austria and Switzerland. "Italy is still a hotspot, although the situation has already improved in some regions," said Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) this week. Luigi Di Maio plans to go on a mission to Germany on June 5, to Slovenia on June 6 and to Greece on June 9 to meet with his counterparts.