Italy to resume cruise ship operations from August 15
In its latest series of government decrees issued under Italy’s coronavirus state of emergency, a stimulus package worth 25 billion euros has been included, even as face masks, social distancing and travel restrictions remain in place. Cruise ships will return from August 15, according to a report by The Local.it.
The stimulus package looks to extend Italy’s employee furlough scheme and allows taxpayers to defer payments, among other measures. Italy is seeking funds from the European Union to help cover the cost.
Face masks compulsory until at least September
As expected, the new decree keeps Italy’s rules on face masks in place: everyone must wear them in enclosed public spaces such as shops, restaurants or public transport. The only exceptions are children under 6 or people with a disability that makes it impossible.
Those rules will apply until at least September 7, when the government will decide whether to extend them again, says the report by The Local.it.
Travel restrictions remain in place
Unfortunately for most people outside Europe, Italy has not eased its travel restrictions in the latest decree and won’t do so until September at the very earliest.
That means that only essential travel to Italy – not tourism – is allowed from the United States, India, Russia and most other countries, while even essential travel is restricted from 16 countries.
Nationals and residents of the EU, Schengen Zone or United Kingdom can continue to travel freely to Italy. Residents of ten non-EU countries currently on the EU’s ‘safe list’ can visit, but are obliged to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Cruise ships return
Italy will allow cruises to resume from August 15, the new decree says.
But in line with Italy’s travel restrictions, they will only be allowed to sail to and from other countries in the EU – excluding Bulgaria and Romania. Ships must certify that none of their passengers have been to any non-EU or Schengen countries in the 14 days before docking in Italy, even briefly.
Nor will passengers calling at an Italian port be allowed to make unsupervised visits ashore: they’ll have to take a tour or stay on ship.
Cruise operators must also take safety precautions on board, including checking passengers’ health before embarkation, asking staff and passengers to wear face masks indoors and enforcing social distancing, the report by The Local.it adds.