(NBC) – The lagoon city of Venice, Italy, welcomed back tourists Sunday after the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Italy will reopen its borders to European union states next week with the inter-regional travel ban remaining in place until June 2 Republic Day Holiday, preventing any mass travel over that long-holiday weekend.
But residents of the Veneto region had the privilege to be the first to visit Venice after the lockdown.
Tourists crowded the city’s huge Saint Mark’s Square, and did not miss the opportunity to take photos removing their protective masks briefly for the snaps.
As the coronavirus pandemic has halted tourism, an industry that brings the city an estimated 30 million people every year, Venice has changed her face.
In March, local authorities suspended the final two days of the famous Venice Carnival and a planned three-week shoot for Tom Cruise’s new “Mission: Impossible” film has been postponed due to the outbreak.
Italy is heavily dependent on tourism, which accounts for 13 percent of GDP and employs around 13 percent of the country’s total work force.