Tourists banned from Italian island by order of mayor amid water emergency

Italy, Capri, view from ferry
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

The Mayor of a popular Italian island has ordered a halt to the arrival of tourists due to a crisis that has deprived some areas of any water supply.

Long lines of passengers have been left standing at ticket offices at the ports of the southern city of Naples after the Mayor of Capri "activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order" due to the water emergency.

Mayor Paolo Falco's order was notified shortly after 9am local time, causing an immediate stop to ticket sales. Ferries and hydrofoils that had already departed for Capri were contacted by radio by the maritime authorities, which ordered their return to port and disembarkation of passengers, WalesOnline reports.

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Without a water supply it is impossible to guarantee essential services to "thousands of people" who travel to the island daily during the tourist season, Mayor Paolo Falco said.

"The health and hygiene situation is explosive, we have taken our countermeasures and activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order," the mayor's order said.

The emergency was caused by a failure in the mainland’s water system that provides vital supplies to the world-known island.

At the moment water is still supplied to most of the island, but some isolated areas of the upper municipality of Anacapri are already dry. Only local reservoirs supply the network, which in the absence of supplies from the mainland risks being run out.