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Italy holidays: 'Our vaccine is slow in Italy' Venice gondolier worries about 2021 breaks


Italy’s tourism has greatly suffered at the hands of the Covid pandemic. In fact, it dropped by 94 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. It’s hoped that the holiday landscape will be more positive this summer, however.

Today, ITV’s Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield spoke to a gondolier in Venice about the outlook for the coming months on This Morning.

Andrea Balbi explained there have been no tourists in Venice due to coronavirus.

However, the Covid vaccine in Italy is cause for hope, he said.

“For us it’s good, I mean, the doctors say the vaccine works and it a solution to Covid,” explained Balbi.

“With the vaccine finishing Covid, I’m sure this summer will be better for sure than last summer.”

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However, he went on to point out his worry that the vaccine rollout was too slow in Italy

“We have a problem in Italy,” said the gondolier.

“In the UK and the USA you are doing the vaccine very fast; in Italy, it is not like that. Here, the vaccine is very slow.”

Balbi added: “We hope that this summer will be better…I am sure.”

The Italian’s insight comes as the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updates its travel advice for Italy.


The FCDO today issued updated information on travel across Italy.

“Travel across regions in Italy is banned until March 27 unless for reasons of work, health or absolute necessity,” said the Foreign Office.

“All travellers entering Italy must comply with the regulations of the region they are visiting.

“Public transport links may be less frequent and seating limited to comply with social distancing measures.

“Masks must be worn on board public services. Taxi and car hire options are widely available.

“Rail companies are operating reduced schedules. Passenger ferry schedules remain subject to change and cancellations.

Britons are currently unable to travel to Italy.

“Until March 5, entry into Italy from the UK is currently only permitted for those with official residency in Italy or those with absolute necessity, which must be declared in writing (by the passenger using the self-declaration),” said the FCDO.

“You should contact your travel provider for more information. If you are a UK national resident in Italy, we advise carrying proof of your residence when entering Italy.

The country also has a strict stance on Covid tests and quarantine.

“Until March 5, all those wishing to fly must present the airline with a negative COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test taken no more than 72 hours before travel,” the FCDO detailed.

“You must also take a COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test within 48 hours of entering Italy – arrivals by air from the UK will take this test at the airport.

“Whatever the result of the two swab tests, those arriving in Italy from the UK must also report to their local health authorities on arrival and must self-isolate for 14 days.”

The authority added: “Everyone arriving in Italy must also call the COVID-19 helpline for the region you are travelling within 48 hours, to inform them of your visit.”

Travellers must also download and complete a self-declaration form from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before travel.


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