Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that Italy should not be treated as a leper colony as countries consider how to restore international travel during the health crisis.
Countries around the Continent are cautiously considering their approach to summer travel in an effort to rebuild their tourism industries while preventing any new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Greece, for example, said it would accept visitors from 29 countries as of June 15 but the list does not include countries hit hardest by the virus including Italy, as well as the U.K. and Spain.
Di Maio wrote on Facebook, in reference to the isolated places historically used to quarantine the diseased. “If anyone thinks they can treat us like a leper colony, then they should know that we will not stand for it,” he added. Italy will reopen for tourists as of from June 15.
Di Maio, from the populist 5Star Movement, said Italy shouldn’t be blacklisted by other countries — emphasizing Rome’s continued transparency about the health situation ahead of bilateral meetings with his EU counterparts in the coming weeks.
He urged “a European answer” on the subject of reopening borders, warning that a disjointed response will weaken EU spirit.