«We would like to offer free serological tests to all tourists who come to South Tyrol. Above all, we provide for hotels a Covid-free area, where you can only enter if you are tested. It will not be mandatory but it will be our offer ». The statement by the President of the Province Arno Kompatscher, within the Rai Radio 1 Centocittà program, aroused immediate protests in South Tyrol. «But are we kidding? Free test for tourists? And the South Tyroleans are second-class citizens? ” was the rhetorical question immediately asked by the team group of Team K in a note, while Alessandro Urzì (South Tyrol at heart) announced an urgent question: “Kompatscher think first of its citizens”.
Social criticism the president’s reply
There are also numerous criticisms on social media. A fuss that prompted the President of the Province, a few hours later, to explain that it had been a misunderstanding: «It will not be the Province to pay the tests to tourists but the hoteliers themselves will be the same. I only said on the radio – Kompatscher pointed out – that we are evaluating with the local hoteliers the possibility of understanding the Sars-Cov-2 tests within the tourist packages offered by the structures themselves, obviously on a voluntary basis. That is, tourists could choose whether to take the test, because obviously we cannot force them. But the idea of including them in the tourist package, for free, or perhaps even for a fee, represents an important possibility, which would give tourists the awareness of being in a safe and controlled territory. This is certainly a good sign that we want to give and a concrete contribution to safety for tourists, professionals and the whole population “.
The resumption of arrivals from 3 June
The free tests initiative is supported by the tourism sector, as confirmed by the hotelier president Manfred Pinzger: “It is – he explains – a measure to consolidate trust in South Tyrol as a tourist destination”. To meet customers, the Hotel Greif in Bolzano, for example, has introduced some small tricks: those who wish can have breakfast in the privacy of their own room without additional room service costs. The problems and prospects of the now imminent tourist season were addressed by President Kompatscher during the usual virtual press conference, recalling that “from June 3, German citizens will be able to come to Italy and return home without being placed in quarantine: nothing hinders more than they come on vacation. ” The president of the junta has in fact recalled that the regulations in force in Austria only concern entry into the country but not transit, so German tourists will be able to reach Italy and South Tyrol. And there is obviously great expectation also for national tourism. In this regard, it should be remembered that some governors of the South have opposed the green light, since June 3, for the circulation throughout Italy of Lombard and Piedmontese citizens, that is, of the regions most affected by the coronavirus. Does South Tyrol share this prudent position or, on the contrary, is it ready to immediately welcome tourists from the most affected regions? “On these issues – replied Kompatscher – we must not act belly-wise, but looking at the data and relying only on those. We will see if limits are set for certain regions which still have a rather high rate of infections. I think it will be known a few days before June 3rd ».
The Austrian prejudice
However, South Tyrol will adapt to the government’s decision. “We must acknowledge Minister Boccia – concluded Kompatscher – that he has adopted a shareable method, which should indeed be used throughout Europe, to avoid deciding on impressions and not on data. In fact, Italy is currently seen by other states as risky, but in reality the objective data say that it is not worse than other states. For some time now, I have been asking for an agreement to be made, at European level, which provides for the obligation, for all States, to make available the data on the spread of the virus with the utmost transparency. Once a certain pre-established threshold has been exceeded, it is up to the State to isolate that territory or region ». Without mentioning Austria directly, the reference to the prejudice against Italy cited by Kompatscher is obviously that of the Vienna government. In recent days, the Tyrolean governor Günther Platter also reiterated his concern, in particular, about the situation in Lombardy, which would hamper the reopening of the Italian-Austrian border: “In Lombardy, with 25,000 positive cases, the numbers are still high. Obviously Lombardy cannot be isolated and in case of reopening of the borders, from there you could go directly to Tyrol, but this would be a problem ». Platter then recognized that the situation in Trentino Alto Adige is comparable with that of Tyrol, the governor continued. The governor of Tyrol then defended the reopening of the Austrian border with Bavaria, which currently still registers 2,500 Covid cases. “These are very different numbers compared to those of Lombardy – concluded Platter – 15 June will be a decisive day because, based on the epidemiological trend at national level, further openings will be evaluated”.
© RESERVED REPRODUCTION