Updated: May 20, 2021 10:08:10 am
A group of friends from Latvia arrived in San Marino this week, where they became the first visitors to avail of the tiny European republic’s Covid vaccine tourist package. The four friends received one dose each of Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine, and will be returning to the microstate in three weeks to get their second dose, The Guardian reported.
With most of San Marino’s population having already received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the independent state decided to offer the Russian jab to non-residents who booked accommodation in one of the independent state’s affiliated hotels.
Interestingly, while ‘Sputnik-V’ was administered on a majority of San Marino’s 34,000-strong population, it has not yet been approved by the European Union. In February, the republic, which is not a member of the EU, signed a deal with Russia after a consignment of vaccines it was supposed to receive from Italy via the EU’s procurement programme failed to arrive, The Guardian reported.
In an attempt to reopen tourism amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, San Marino launched its new vaccine holiday package on Sunday. To avail of the deal, visitors have to book a three-night stay at one of 19 hotels included in the package. They have to then book another three-night stay three weeks later to receive the second dose of the vaccine. Both jabs collectively cost 50 Euro (around 4,457 INR).
“After the first dose, they can stay on or return to their home country before coming back, or spend some time in Italy … obviously if they stay in Italy then they need to respect the Covid rules there,” Roberto Ciavatta, San Marino’s health minister said.
So far, the tiny nation has received over 150 emails from international tourists inquiring about the package.