Italy Eases COVID Restrictions in Advance of Tourist Season | ETF Trends

Italy appears to be reopening (somewhat) in advance of Europe’s peak summer tourist season. The Associated Press is reporting that Italy has eased up on some COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, suggesting that life may be returning to some form of normalcy in the country.

For example, as of Sunday, visitors to Italy no longer need to fill out the EU passenger locator form. Italy has also lifted the requirement to show a health pass to enter restaurants, cinemas, and gyms, among other venues. The green pass, however, which shows proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test, is still required to enter hospitals or nursing homes.

Some indoor mask mandates in Italy have also ended, including those for indoor spaces. While masks are still required on public transportation, in cinemas, and in healthcare facilities and nursing homes, indoor mask mandates in supermarkets, workplaces, and stores have been lifted.

Still, public health officials highly recommend wearing masks in Italy for all indoor activities, and private companies can still require them. Since the virus is still circulating, Dr. Giovanni Rezza, who is in charge of prevention at the Italian Ministry of Health, said “we should keep up the vaccine campaign, including boosters, and keep up behavior inspired by prudence: wearing masks indoors or in crowded places or wherever there’s a risk of contagion.”

Italy easing COVID restrictions ahead of tourism season should impact the Franklin FTSE Italy ETF (NYSEArca: FLIY). Home to a basket of 40 large and mid-size companies in Italy, the single-country ETF seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Italy RIC Capped Index.

FLIY has an expense ratio of 0.09%.

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