We interviewed a Brazilian who works with tourism in Italy to better understand how the resumption of tourism is going after the coronavirus 

THE Italy was one of the most hit by the new coronavirus. Now, it is experiencing a phase of recovery that, despite some restrictions, is increasingly moving towards normality. With tourism, it is no different: the segment, which is very strong in the country, returns with some changes and trends for the future.

With the end of the lockdown decreed on June 3, several tourist attractions are already reopen. Also, since the 1st of July, the borders of the countries that make up the European Union and the Schengen area are also open to 15 other countries outside this zone – Brazil should stay out until the situation starts to improve. 

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What has been observed so far is that outdoor tours and private services tend to increase. However, this whole process had a different look at those who lived day-to-day in the country, especially those who work with tourism. To better understand the changes and projections in the face of these new scenarios, we interviewed Jessica da Rosa, from the agency Elmocar, from Rome, which specializes in receiving Brazilian tourists in the country. 

Italy: how is the situation in the country and expectations for the future from the point of view of a Brazilian

brazilian italy tourism

Photo: Pixabay

Better Travel Guide – Can you tell me what the current situation in Rome and Italy is like from a resident's point of view? Has there been effective action and drastic changes from the local government in recent months?

A: On June 3, the end of the lockdown was decreed, that is, people could move freely within the country and within the Schengen area. The measures that the government adopted in this phase III, of a sanitary nature, are practically the same as in the previous phase. This means social distancing of at least 1 meter, wearing masks indoors or in open places where it is not possible to maintain distance. 

Then measures were enacted to contain contagions that must be observed on public transport and in workplaces, but always based on distancing and wearing a mask. As for the tourist transport sector, for example, a 7-seater van can only have a maximum of 4 passengers - unless they are not members of the same family, in this case it can be 6 passengers, always leaving the seat next to the passenger. free driver. Vehicles must be sanitized after each use and fully disinfected at the end of the day. Passengers must wear a mask inside the vehicle and disinfect their hands before entering. 

Travel Better Guider – Did the population, in general, respect the rules of social distancing? How has your personal life been these past two months?

A: It can be said that a good part of the population respected it, the impression is that only 10% did not respect it at the beginning of phase III – most young people, but currently this percentage has increased a lot due to the fact that we had a drop in the number of infections. In Rome (a city of 4.3 million people), we currently have only 13 people in intensive care. In Lombardy there is still a focus, but it is controlled and also in decline following the trend of the rest of the country. To give you an idea, currently (data from 06/29) there are only 96 people in intensive care across the country. 

Better Travel Guide – How is this return to normality taking place?

A: Quietly, with the exception of some people who were traumatized and with evident panic syndrome, insomnia and psychological problems. Prolonged confinement also causes a syndrome here called “hut syndrome” (which means home, protection). Fortunately it is a small percentage and the problem can be overcome with time.

Better Travel Guide – How is the reopening of tourism in the country going at this first moment?

A: At the moment, domestic tourism is working around 45%, that is, it is mainly focused on domestic tourism or business trips. The forecast this year is to work around 50%. Our company has already started to receive the first timid reservations, all starting in August.

Better Travel Guide – How are the international flights arriving in Rome going? Are there many restrictions and security measures you can tell us about?

A: At the moment we have many flights arriving and departing from Rome, but most of the airports in Italy are deserted, even considering the promotions that some companies are doing with air tickets. At the moment, hand luggage is prohibited on board, everything must be checked. And, attention: many airlines sell tickets for flights that are later canceled and do not refund the money, but give a voucher as a refund as permitted by law. 

Better Travel Guide What places and attractions in Rome are agencies prioritizing right now?

A: Yes, exactly that, but the novelty is that with the fact of distance, some museums, art galleries and basilicas in Rome where it is practically impossible to admire with the necessary calm, it is now possible. Collective tourist services will be penalized. On the contrary, private services like the ones we offer to our customers will be more appreciated.

Better Travel Guide – Could you say what the main precautions are being taken in relation to hotels, restaurants, visits and attractions, etc?

A: Distance, mask and hand disinfection with alcohol-based products (minimum 75%), and pre-established routes for people to move inside the place.

Better Travel Guide – Why should a Brazilian tourist include Rome as a destination once everything is normalized?

A: Italy, with all its rich history, art, culture, cuisine and natural beauty, will soon be among the most sought after destinations in the world. We are optimistic and are doing everything possible so that, when the time comes, we can receive our customers with the usual affection and in complete safety.

Better Travel Guide – How is the agency preparing to receive the tourist once the situation is under control? Are there plans to provide individual safety items such as masks, hand sanitizer and others?

A: When all this is over, people will travel much more, giving preference to private tours and services, because they guarantee greater comfort and safety. When this happens, we will be here firm and ready to start over, offering not only professionalism, but also sanitized vehicles and drivers ready to adopt all safety and prevention measures dictated by the Ministry of Health.  

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