Residents of the small Italian island of Ischia are hoping that the 19-mile stretch of seawater that divides them from the mainland will help save their economy from another disastrous tourism season this summer.
They’re eagerly awaiting a boatload of vaccines, promised by a decree signed late last week, that will create herd-immunity among the island’s 70,000 inhabitants. Once everyone has had the shot, they can declare the island a Covid-free zone, helping to ensure an influx of wealthy visitors from across northern Europe and the U.S.
“An Englishman called just yesterday to ask about hosting a wedding at our resort this summer, but it looked very difficult to organize as many of the guests were supposed to come from all over the world,” said Giovan Giuseppe Mattera, 58, the owner of Lido Ricciulillo beach resort and restaurant in the island’s main town. “Now that I know the vaccines are coming, I think I’ll call him back.”