Italy bans Christmas markets over COVID-19 fears
Among the new rules in the latest Italian Government Decree of November 3, 2020, the one that divided Italy into red, orange and yellow areas, there is an explicit ban on the opening and holding of Christmas markets – one of the long established Christmas celebration traditions, a source of business and enjoyment for children.
These events, carried out outside the ordinary commercial activity in spaces dedicated to stationary or occasional market activity, fall under the trade fares category, therefore prohibited. This provision applies to the entire Italian territory.
The added restriction deprives tour operators and travel agencies of another leading product and a significant segment in the annual planning of organized tourism.
According to the Confesercenti statistic data, more than 560 Christmas markets set up in Italy, in recent years have attracted an average of 13 million visitors produced a gross turnover of over 780 million euros, and involved the activity of 28 thousand exhibitors, mainly street vendors, artisans and travel agents.
Also, significant financial gains were generated in the various locations that hosted these typical pre-Christmas shopping markets, as well as provided the entertainment the children.