Coronavirus cases in Italy have seen a marked jump, as a total of 7,375 people are reported to have the virus. There have been 366 deaths from the virus in total. Italy introduced radical measures at the weekend in an attempt to contain coronavirus.
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Fourteen provinces and up to 16 million people to Lombardy need special permission to travel under new quarantine rules which are in place until 3 April.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now updated its travel advice to Britons.
The FCO said: “The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to the following areas in northern Italy, due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) and various control and isolation measures imposed by the Italian authorities on 8 March.
“[These include] Lombardy region (which includes the cities of Milan, Bergamo, Como) and the provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia and Rimini (all in Emilia Romagna); Pesaro e Urbino (in Marche); Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli (all in Piemonte); Padova. Treviso and Venice (in Veneto).
“British nationals remain able to depart Italy without restriction. Residents of other parts of Italy are permitted to leave the isolation areas to return home.
“Otherwise entry into and exit from these areas is forbidden without official permission on the grounds of strict necessity; the authorities have confirmed to us that this will be granted for reasons such as medical need or work requirements.
“Travellers should check flight details with airlines. Additional restrictions include the closure of museums, cultural institutions and the suspension of all public gatherings, social events including pubs, nightclubs and games halls. Religious ceremonies and funerals are suspended.
“Ski facilities in the affected mountain areas are closed. Restaurants and bars remain open from 06.00 to 18.00.”
The FCO added: “Across the whole of Italy, museums and cultural institutions are closed and all sporting fixtures must be played behind closed doors.
“Childcare facilities, schools and universities are closed until 15 March. Public and social gatherings should be avoided with cinemas, pubs and clubs closed. Restaurants and bars remain open with reduced seating.”
Flights have also been affected by the travel bans.
Italy’s national carrier Alitalia announced it would suspend all operations from Milan Malpensa Airport from today and Milan Linate Airport would only serve domestic routes. International flights would continue to and from Rome.
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British Airways has cancelled 36 flights today to and from northern Italy, mainly to Milan and Venice.
A BA spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “Following the change to the UK Government travel advice for Northern Italy, we are reviewing our schedule, and have contacted all customers who are due to travel today.
“We are also offering customers booked to fly before April 2, the option to change their booking up to another date up to the end of May, or to fly via Zurich or Geneva instead.”
easyJet is also expected to reduce flights to northern Italy.
The budget airline has said it would review its flying programme to the airports in the area, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona until 3 April, with cancellations expected, reported Reuters.
“We will provide a further update on our schedule in due course,” easyJet said in an emailed statement on Monday.
easyJet has said their fares and fees are non-refundable. Their website currently states: “We are currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and appreciate the inconvenience it causes. To reduce waiting times please contact us within 48 hours of your departure date.
“As airports are open our generic terms and conditions remain the same which means that our fares and fees are non-refundable. If you cancel, miss, or do not take your flight, unfortunately, we will be unable to provide you with a refund.”
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