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One island in Italy is already ‘Covid-free’

As Europe plans its progressive reopening to guests from further afield, the battle lines are being drawn between destinations enthusiastic to get the tourist dollars flowing. And in Italy -- where tourism represents about 13% of the GDP, according to government figures -- one island has stolen a march on its rivals, by going "Covid-free."

Capri, in the Gulf of Naples, is normally known for its upscale visitors. But this year, rather than pitching its luxury inns and brilliant ocean views, the authorities are going for a much simpler sale that every island resident has been immunized.

Last weekend, the governor of the wider Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca, announced that the vaccination program was nearly concluded, claiming that this will make the island "Covid-free." "We are preparing to welcome millions of tourists and to prevent them from going to Spain or Greece," De Luca said in a discourse on Saturday.

The mayor of Capri, Marino Lembo, told CNN that of 15,000 inhabitants, 80% have received the primary dosage of the vaccine. By the end of this week, all tourism sector workers who live off the island but frequently travel there will also be immunized.

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