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Coronavirus

Italy Eases Rules, Welcomes EU, UK Travelers

ROME — The first European visitors have started arriving in Italy after the government lifted a coronavirus quarantine requirement for travelers from the European Union, Britain and Israel.

People arriving on a flight Monday from Greece had to test negative before boarding. Among the passengers was Greek tourist Aris Mandatakis, who said the no-quarantine rule was great. He said it was just like being “a normal person.”

Italy announced last week it was relaxing its COVID-19 quarantine requirement for visitors from the EU, Israel and Britain in a bid to jumpstart its pandemic-devastated tourist industry.

Italy had imposed the five-day quarantine on EU travelers to deter visitors over the Easter holiday and to discourage Italians from taking advantage of a loophole that had made it easier to travel abroad than from Rome to Milan.

Italy, where the coronavirus outbreak first erupted in Europe, has seen its confirmed caseload fall to fewer than 10,000 a day after a winter of lockdowns and an accelerating vaccination campaign. The country though is still seeing around 200 deaths a day, and has the second-highest confirmed COVID-19 toll in Europe after Britain.

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