Trade Fairs: new Covid decree re-opens to non-EU international buyers

Another step towards the ‘new normal’ in the sector. With the approval of the Covid-19 law decree dated 2 February, the Council of Ministers gave the green light to international buyers from countries with different vaccination rules compared to Europe.

Now, even operators protected with a vaccine not recognized by the EMA (European Medicines Agency) can attend Italian trade fairs where the Super Green Pass is required. It will suffice to take an additional rapid swab test (valid for 48 hours) or a molecular antigen test (valid for 72 hours).

The decree also refers to international visitors in possession for more than six months of a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 or completion of a vaccination cycle authorized as equivalent in Italy.

All other services related to incoming exhibitors and visitors are also included in the regulations: the rapid swab test also allows access to hotels and restaurants.

This is encouraging news for the Italian trade fair system, after the postponement of international events in the first two months precisely because of restrictions limiting travellers arriving from non-EU countries.

The government measure arises from a general improvement in the European pandemic situation, as confirmed by Hans Kluge, Director of WHO Europe, speaking of the onset of a “long period of tranquility” thanks to high vaccination rates, the milder Omicron variant and the end of winter.

“This turning point,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, “means we can look with more optimism to upcoming events in our calendar, such as Fieragricola and Vinitaly, with dates respectively confirmed as 2-5 March and 10-13 April. We can thereby reopen our doors to thousands of international buyers and professional operators who every year choose the Made in Italy supply chains represented by Veronafiere. At the same time, we are safeguarding the business of our exhibitors. With these objectives in mind, Veronafiere, in collaboration with ICE-Trade Agency, has implemented important promotional and incoming investments in markets that were precluded beforehand, such as China, Russia, South Korea, Japan and the Middle East.”