Italy is pushing back at what it claims are false reports that Dario Franceschini, Italian minister of cultural heritage, activities and tourism, will keep the country's borders closed to tourists through 2020.
Giorgio Palmucci, president of ENIT, the Italian National Tourist Board, called the report "fake news" and issued the following statement on April 29:
"Tourism in Italy will start again, with all precautions and in maximum safety ... [and] no border closure is expected. Those who love Italy must be allowed to return to enjoy it, in compliance with governmental and regional guidelines."
It is a delicate phase in which it is essential to defend Italy through correct communication. Misinformation and fake news risk creating serious damage and unjustified alarmism. It is therefore important to follow institutional sources and reliable news as much as possible, such as those provided by the Italian National Tourist Board, which provides an official biweekly update on the situation in Italy and in the world."
Franceschini himself, when asked about the border-closure claims, said: 'As is all too obvious, I have never spoken, nor ever thought, of closing the Italian borders to tourists for 2020. I am working on the exact opposite. I proposed yesterday at the meeting of Tourism Ministers of the European Union, a European uniformity of the safety rules with respect to the risk of contagion, allowing the free movement of tourists within the European Union. So we're starting bilateral talks with other countries that have a lot of tourism going to Italy."