Earlier this month, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told the world “the time has come to book your holidays in Italy.”

The country has also expanded so-called “Covid-19 free” flights to and from some cities in the U.S., which allow travelers to skip quarantine if they test negative before and after they get on the plane.

Like Greece, it’s working to immunize its island tourism hot spots like Capri, off the coast of Napoli.

Eighty percent of the island’s 14,000 residents have received the first dose of a vaccine, and there are no Covid-19 cases, Capri Mayor Marino Lembo said. Tourism workers who come to the island from mainland Italy are also being vaccinated.

Image: Tourists enjoy the attractions in Venice, Italy
Tourists enjoy the attractions in Venice, Italy.Manuel Silvestri / Reuters

It’s part of an effort to let Americans and other foreign travelers know that coming to Capri is safe, he said.

Last year saw the island lose half its tourism revenue, he added.

But after the E.U. announcement, he is looking forward to seeing American tourists lounging in Capri’s emerald waters once again.

“There is a desire to return,” he said. “Americans find themselves at home here.”

Meanwhile, France, the world’s top tourism destination in 2019, is slowly emerging from its third lockdown.

The French regained some of their “joie de vivre” last week with the government reopening restaurant terraces and museums, including the famous Louvre. But masks are still mandatory inside and outside.

Americans have been banned from traveling to France since March 2020, and the country this week blocked travelers from the United Kingdom over concerns about a new coronavirus variant. But President Emmanuel Macron told CBS last month he hoped Americans could once again travel to France this summer.

Image: People drive past a local cafe in the main port area of Patmos, Greece.
People drive past a local cafe in the main port area of Patmos, Greece.Byron Smith / Getty Images

Georges and Odette de la Rochebrochard own a restaurant near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and rented out Airbnb apartments in the heart of the French capital.

Their livelihood depends on tourists, particularly Americans, but the pandemic saw them lose 80 percent of their revenue.

Despite the E.U. move to ease restrictions on foreign travel, they remain pessimistic about this summer’s prospects.

“It’s too late to announce that France and Europe are open for tourism this summer,” Georges, 68, said.

“It’s almost June, and I highly doubt lots of Americans will book a flight and hotel to Paris on such short notice. Tourism just doesn’t work like that,” he said.

“No one is expecting business as usual this year.”

Carlo Angerer, Sarah Harman, Nancy Ing, Matteo Moschella and Andy Eckardt contributed.