Italy aims to “reassure visitors the country is ready” to welcome them back having announced new safety guidelines for tourists.

The Italian tourist board (ENIT) has published new protocols, which include wearing a face mask in enclosed spaces, providing hand sanitisers and applying one-metre social distancing rules in all public areas, including restaurants and hotels.

British tourists have been allowed to visit Italy with no quarantine measures on arrival from July 3, although quarantine measures still remain in place on return to the UK – with a review due on June 29 that could see air bridges introduced between the UK and European countries.

Ahead of the expected announcement, ENIT held a webinar for the UK travel trade where regional tourist boards spoke about the safety measures.

Flavio Zappacosta, manager for UK and Ireland, said the aim of publishing the guidelines was to “reassure visitors that Italy is ready for tourists and has the correct measures in place to ensure their health and safety.”

Maria Elena Rossi, marketing and promotion director for ENIT, told listeners the tourist board was moving the focus away from just sun and beach towards other segments including LGBTQ+ and active holidays, with a particular focus on golf tourism ahead of the planned 2022 Ryder Cup in Rome.

She said luxury would be “the first segment to restart” and that plans were being made to extend the tourist season beyond the end of summer to help make up for the late start. “We know that the season this year is starting much later than usual. Many properties are only opening now […] so we see an effort from all the regions and destinations to extend the season to October and November.”

Rossi said now was an opportunity to promote Italy to travellers wanting to see it in a new light.

“Never [again] will we and tourists be able to visit Italy the way you can visit it this year. It’s absolutely enchanting to see our cities the way you can now, and the way you can get access to our museums.

“It’s a way of seeing with new eyes the country that many UK and Irish visitors already know, but really now they can visit in a very special and exclusive way.”

ENIT has also launched an app, Italia VR, which will include information on art, history, territory, culture, food and wine in the country.

Meanwhile, the Basilicata region of Italy, which has the lowest rate of infection in the country, has been declared ‘Covid-free’.