Coronavirus cases in Italy have soared in the past week, with 12 people killed and 322 infected. Regions in Italy have been on lock-down and tourists who have visited the country have been warned to self-isolate. Express.co.uk has compiled some travel advice about which towns are banned for tourists and whether it is safe to visit Italy right now.
The Italian Prime Minister has introduced “extraordinary measures” in a bid to control the rampant spread of coronavirus across Italy.
Italy has become the first European country to deal with a significant outbreak of coronavirus, which first started in Wuhan City, China, in December.
Britons returning from northern Italy have been told to self-isolate.
Children returning from half-term holidays in northern Italy have been sent home from school and four schools around England have been shut completely for a “deep clean” after pupils returned from skiing trips in Italy.
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Travellers particularly at risk include anyone who travelled north of Pisa.
The government has asked those who visited this region to stay home for 14 days if they develop flu-like symptoms.
Roughly three million Britons visit Italy each year and typically most visits are free of any trouble.
However, with the recent outbreak of coronavirus, which has now killed 12 people in Italy, the government has issued special advice banning Britons from visiting certain areas of Italy.
On Wednesday morning, Italian authorities confirmed a 12th person had died from coronavirus in northern Italy.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising against all but essential travel to 11 Italian towns.
These towns are in two regions: Lombardy and Veneto.
The towns in Lombardy where Britons have been banned from visiting are:
- Castiglione d’Adda
- Terranova dei Passerini
- San Fiorano
There is also one town which tourists have been banned from in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo.
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Italy has put these 11 towns, which are popular tourist spots due to their ski resorts, on lockdown.
Police have been stationed at checkpoints around the towns under quarantine.
Several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, with all appearing to be linked to the growing outbreak in Italy.
Austria, Croatia and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria and Africa.
The first positive virus test has also been recorded in Latin America and was a Brazilian who had just returned from Italy.
Despite the prolific spread of the disease across Italy, the country’s neighbours have kept borders open.
They have said closing borders would be “disproportionate”.
Health ministers from France, Germany, Italy and the EU Commission committed to keeping frontiers open at a meeting on Tuesday as new cases of the virus emerged throughout Europe and in central and southern Italy.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said: “We’re talking about a virus that doesn’t respect borders.”
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there are no plans to stop flights to Italy.
He said: “If you look at Italy, they stopped all flights from China and they’re now the worst-affected country in Europe.”
Italy is one of three global hotspots outside China, in South Korea, more than 1,100 people have been infected and 11 have died.
In Iran, there have been less than 100 confirmed cases, but it is assumed the numbers of much higher, particularly after the country’s deputy health minister was diagnosed with coronavirus.
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