Is Italy safe? Latest travel advice as coronavirus cases hit 650 and 17 deaths

CORONAVIRUS in Italy has soared to more than 650 cases in just 24 hours, and 17 have been killed by the virus.

Ten regions across the country are locked down with travel advice warning not to travel to them – here is the latest travel update if you are travelling to Italy.

Follow our coronavirus live blog to stay up to date with the latest news and updates.

What is the latest travel advice for tourists heading to Italy?
What is the latest travel advice for tourists heading to Italy?
The Mega Agency

What is the travel advice for Italy?

Italy has confirmed more than 650 cases of coronavirus, with 17 people dying from the virus, according to local media.

Regions including Lombardy, near Milan, and Veneto, near Venice, have been affected the worst.

The UK government’s travel advice for Brits warns against all but essential travel to the 10 towns that have been isolated due to the outbreak.

They advise: “The FCO advise against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo), which have been isolated by the Italian authorities due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

They also add: “The government of Italy introduced extraordinary measures that allow regions to implement civil protection measures in response to coronavirus, including the isolation of the towns above.

“The regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna have announced measures that include the suspension of events that involve meeting in public or private places, the suspension of schools and higher education and the suspension on the opening of museums and other cultural institutions for 7 days.”

Passengers travelling to the regions should contact the airline for changes or refunds
Passengers travelling to the regions should contact the airline for changes or refunds
EPA
Tourists are being warned to self-isolate when they return home if in the north of the country
Tourists are being warned to self-isolate when they return home if in the north of the country
Alamy Live News
Venice museums and attractions have closed while health checks are taking place at the airport
Venice museums and attractions have closed while health checks are taking place at the airport
Reuters

Italy has reported over 150 cases of coronavirus, with Patient Zero unknown
Reuters

Italy has reported over 150 cases of coronavirus, with Patient Zero unknown[/caption]

Milan has been left deserted due to coronavirus fears
Milan has been left deserted due to coronavirus fears
AP:Associated Press

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that tourists who have travelled to the regions already should “self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms”.

Images of Milan show the city almost deserted with tourists cancelling hotels and flights to Italy amid fears of the virus.

Can I cancel my flights to Italy?

If you are due to fly to one of the affected regions that has been warned against, airlines might now offer to change your flights free of charge.

Although, because the government advice only concerns specific towns and not airports, airlines are not obliged to.

Regions that are deemed safe to travel, such as Venice and Milan, will not be affected by the new government advice, with airlines unlikely to allow you to change your flights without a fee.


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British Airways are allowing passengers to delay their travel, and have cancelled a number of flights to Milan due to a drop in demand.

On social media, they explained: “Anyone travelling to Northern Italy and from 25 February-02 March can delay their travel anywhere up to 31 March.

“You can also change to travel either to Zurich or Geneva. If you were wanting to refund your booking then it would be as per the fare rules of your ticket.”

Wizz Air has also cancelled all flights between London Luton to Bari between March 11 and April 2, while easyJet said they would also be cancelling a number of flights to Italy due to “softening of demand”.

British Airways has cancelled flights to Milan due to a drop in demand
British Airways has cancelled flights to Milan due to a drop in demand
AP:Associated Press

A number of regions are on lockdown with travel banned and schools closed
EPA

A number of regions are on lockdown with travel banned and schools closed[/caption]

Tourists in Milan are also being affected by the virus, with attractions closed
Reuters

Tourists in Milan are also being affected by the virus, with attractions closed[/caption]

However, passengers who have already booked easyJet and Ryanair flights are not able to cancel or change their flights which are flying to Italy without any additional charges.

Venice Carnival was forced to end early following the travel restrictions, museums have been closed until further notice and the government is planning to increase health checks on gondolas and public transport across the city.

Fashion designer Giorgio Armani streamed his show at Milan Fashion Week instead of allowing visitors to watch the catwalk due to coronavirus fears, and the Duomo cathedral in Milan has been closed.

A video shows tourists having their temperatures at Venice Airport, as well as at Milan Airport.

We’ve also explained the latest travel advice for Brits heading to Thailand following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The US government has advised travellers to “reconsider” cruises to Asia due to a number of cruise ships infected with coronavirus.

Here is the latest update for holidays to Bali and Malaysia as well.

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