Coronavirus cases in Italy currently stand at 2,502 while the death toll has jumped to 79. The UK government continues to advise “against all but essential travel” to multiple towns in northern Italy. Meanwhile, airlines including easyJet, British Airways and Ryanair have axed flights to the country.
Approximately three million British nationals visit Italy every year – but how safe is it to travel there on holiday at the moment?
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice to Italy.
The FCO currently states: “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).
“If you’re returning to the UK from northern Italy, consult the latest advice from the Department of Health and Social Care on actions to take.
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“On 22 February, 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.
“These measures were extended on 1 March and include school closures and changes to sporting fixtures in the regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, as well as in provinces closest to the outbreaks.
“You can find more information on measures in Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte or Emilia Romagna on regional government websites (in Italian).
“Call Italy’s 112 emergency number if you believe you have symptoms. English speaking operators are available.”
Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have raised the warning to Level 3, recommending all but non-essential travel to Italy.
Only one out of Italy’s 20 regions, Valle D’Aosta, is yet to record a case of coronavirus.
Lombardy is the worst-affected region with a death toll of 55 and 1,326 cases,
“None of us can be sure about the future evolution of the disease,” Angelo Borrelli, head of the Civil Protection Agency, told a news conference yesterday.
“This is an important week to understand what will happen.”
According to Reuters, a new, third quarantined area could be declared around the city of Bergamo, 28 miles northeast of Milan, to try to crack down on spike in cases there.