Coronavirus Live Updates For Italy


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Coronavirus Live Update For Italy

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July 3, 2020

Passengers are now able to buy tickets for US-Italy flights, but they are often turned away at the airport due to continued (and often confusing) travel restrictions. So who exactly is allowed to fly these routes?

As Italy gradually lifts travel restrictions, some US-Italy flight connections were reinstated in June.

But as The Local’s readers report, being able to buy tickets is no guarantee that passengers will be allowed to board the flight, as the restrictions for travelling into Italy have not been lifted completely.

READ ALSO: Who is allowed to travel to Italy at the moment?

“Non-essential” travel into Italy from outside the EU and Schengen zone remains limited, and there has been confusion among travelers over what counts as “essential” and how exactly the rules are being applied.

Some frustrated US residents say they were able to buy airline tickets for US-Italy routes, and arrived at the airport believing they had an urgent reason for travel and had complied with the rules – but they say they were unable to get clear travel information in advance, and were turned away by airline staff when they arrived at the airport.

“A crazy scene”

“I went to the airport for my flight, and was immediately turned away by AlItalia, along with almost all Americans who tried to travel,” said reader Sara (not her real name), an American academic who tried to board a flight from New York’s JFK airport to Rome Fiumicino on June 19th, hoping to be reunited with her Italian fiancé in Sicily.
“None of the people trying to get on that flight, from what I saw, were tourists,” she told The Local.
“Everyone was trying to get to loved ones. At least three families that I came across were trying, and failing, to get to a dying family member. They didn’t let them though.”
“The only ones who were allowed to travel were those with a residence or work permit, with documented property in Italy, or the spouses and children of Italian citizens,” she said.
“It was a crazy scene, a lot of tears.”

Karin Beebe, another reader who managed to fly from the US to Rome earlier in June – flying with Air France to Paris and then with Alitalia to Rome – said she was only allowed to do so because she owns a property in Italy, and explained that the first Alitalia employee she spoke to tried to turn her away.

“I really wanted to be here, so I jumped through all the hoops. But until Italy says it wants American tourists, I don’t expect to see much travel from the US,” she said.

“What I endured was extremely stressful, and most of it was unnecessary.  The information online is discouraging and confusing for travelers.”

Sara said AlItalia representatives at the airport told her that “basically all the information from the embassy and consular websites was incorrect, and that they take their directives from immigration in Rome.”
“They also said that there was no way to know any of this information before coming to the airport.”

Sara slammed the airline for “putting people at risk by not providing clear guidelines about who can fly and who can’t” in advance.

“Like me, all the people at the airport had spent hours on the phone with the airline, embassies, local authorities, and there were no clear answers to be found,” she said. “As a result, the only option if you are desperate to get to loved ones, as we all were, was to just go to the airport and try.”

“I was lucky enough to be able to just drive to the airport, so I only spent time and money. But there were people who undoubtedly came via public transit, risking contagion in the process.”

Alitalia confirmed that employees were giving this information to passengers at the airport in New York.

That’s the information that our employees give to passengers, but passengers should also inform themselves if they are eligible for travel to Europe,” an Alitalia spokesperson told The Local, citing information from the US Embassy in Italy.

Furthermore, on our website we recommend that travelers check the entry restrictions of the destination country on the local Department of Foreign Affairs website.”

Alitalia said it also advises customers on its website that “passengers from non-Schengen/EU countries, even if in transit in a Schengen/EU state, must also complete the self-declaration form for re-entry to Italy, which can be downloaded from our website here.”

Can passengers get a refund if they are denied boarding?

Adding to passengers’ frustration is the fact that their tickets are often not refundable, and it’s unclear when and if they’ll be able to rebook.

Sara explained that she was allowed to keep her ticket open, “to be rebooked at no extra cost before the date of my return ticket. – as long as the rebooked ticket doesn’t cost more than the original, which is not a given. ”

“There are no refunds for the kind of ticket that I bought – that is, the cheapest available,” she explained.

“On the surface, it seems like a good deal – but the result is that people who can only afford cheaper tickets are now locked in to trips that we may not be able to take at all if restrictions don’t open up this summer.

Photo: AFP

“This is the third set of tickets that I have booked since March, with a number of different airlines. I received a refund for the first, only because one of the legs was cancelled. The other two are floating out in space, until I can rebook.”

“If I had known that travel was simply not possible, I would not have spent thousands of non-refundable dollars,” she said.

Alitalia stated: “We assist travelers who are unable to fly to Italy because they are not eligible for travel, according to the European authorities, in two ways: If they can show the correct documents (eg. a letter from a company that invites travelers for business, or proof of Italian residence) then we rebook them for another date.”

“If they cannot travel at all then they can ask for refund or credit voucher.”

So what are the rules?

Many restrictions still remain on travel to Italy from the US – and anywhere else outside of Europe.

The Italian government’s latest emergency decree, cited by the US Embassy in Rome, states that for travelers coming from countries other than those in the currently approved EU/Schengen area, “travel to Italy will be allowed only for proven work reasons, urgent health needs, or to return to your place of residence.”

From March 17th, Europe effectively closed its external borders to non-essential travel – a move that is being gradually reversed from July 1st, with an agreement which allows travel into Europe from July 1st from 15 non-EU countries on a “safe list“.

This list notably did not include the US, which is deemed too high a risk due to the current rate of coronavirus infections.

And Italy chose to opt out of this Europe-wide agreement, saying it was not yet ready to allow non-EU travel.

However, the restrictions do not apply to EU citizens or long-term EU residents and their family members.

The European Council stated on Tuesday: “For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people should be exempted from the restrictions:

  • EU citizens and their family members
  • long-term EU residents and their family members
  • travelers with an essential function or need.

Here is a full list of the current restrictions and possible exemptions for all travelers from outside the EU.

Mandatory quarantine

Americans who enter Italy for essential reasons – for example returning residents – must self isolate on arrival for 14 days, according to the Italian government’s latest decree.

Italy confirmed on June 30th it would keep the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule in place for travelers arriving in the country from outside the EU, including those who had travelled into Italy via another country in the Schengen zone (Europe’s unrestricted travel area).

This rule also applies to those who are entering Italy via another European country on a connecting flight, such as via Germany or the UK, if they have been in the US (or anywhere else outside of Europe) within the past 14 days.
Italy has allowed free movement to and from EU and Schengen zone countries, including the UK, since June 3rd.

At the time of writing, US authorities are warning against unnecessary travel to Europe.

The US Embassy in Rome advises American citizens planning to travel to Italy to visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov and check the Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Italy, and review the Italian National Institute of Health’s website (available only in Italian).

Source: https://www.thelocal.it/20200701/flights-from-the-us-to-italy-are-back-on-but-will-you-be-allowed-to-board

Italy4Real recommends www.thelocal.it for the latest Italian news in English.


Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to restart international travel, opening up to visitors from within the European Union, Schengen Zone and UK from June 3rd.

But until this week, travel options remained limited as Italy’s neighbors kept their borders closed.

That began to change on Monday, June 15th, when many other countries in the EU lifted their bans on non-essential travel.

People in Italy can now visit those countries freely without having to prove their trip is urgent or quarantining at either end of the journey. The same goes for people living in other countries who want to visit Italy but would previously have had to self-quarantine upon returning home.

But there are still some exceptions to be aware of, even within Europe. Here’s the complete list of where you can and can’t travel from Italy.

No travel outside Europe until at least July

Forget taking a far-flung holiday in the near future: travel to or from Italy from anywhere that isn’t the EU, Schengen Zone or UK remains strictly limited. It is only possible in an emergency, for urgent work reasons, or if you’re returning to your country of residence – and anyone entering Italy from outside Europe must quarantine themselves for two weeks after arriving.

According to the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Viaggiare Sicuri travel website, those restrictions will remain in place until at least June 30th.

What happens after that remains unclear. The European Commission is recommending that countries consider a “progressive and partial” reopening to non-EU travelers from July 1st, but the Italian government has not yet confirmed which countries it will lift restrictions on first, or when.

Source: https://www.thelocal.it/20200617/checklist-which-countries-can-you-visit-from-italy


June 5th, 2020

As of Wednesday June 3rd, Italy is allowing international tourism from within Europe for the first time in almost three months. However, non-urgent from outside the EU bloc is not expected to be allowed until at least June 15th.

While the EU rolled out a plan to loosen travel restrictions over the summer holiday season, it too was only talking about travel within Europe.

So what’s the situation for people who want to travel to Italy from the US, Australia, India or anywhere else outside the EU or Schengen zone?

The EU in March brought in a ban on all non essential travel from countries outside either the EU (which for this purpose still includes the UK) or the Schengen Zone.

Travel ban

Italy, along with other EU member states, is limiting entry to EU citizens and residents. US citizens who are not residents of the EU and do not fit into one of a handful of “essential travel” exceptions may not be able to travel, and/or may face quarantine measures upon arrival.

The European Commission has recommended that the current travel ban stay in place until at least June 15th, possibly longer.

EU officials have stressed that restoring frictionless travel within Europe will be their priority before opening up travel from outside Europe.

Ylva Johansson, EU Commission for Home Affairs, said: “Restrictions on free movement and internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually before we can remove restrictions at the external borders and guarantee access to the EU for non-EU residents for non-essential travel.”

What is “essential” travel?

The EU’s definition of essential travel is stricter than many countries’ individual restrictions and does not contain any exemption for visits for family reasons.

People who can travel into the European bloc include

Citizens of an EU country
Non EU citizens who are permanent residents of an EU country and need to come home
Healthcare workers engaged in crucial work on the coronavirus crisis
Frontier workers and in some circumstances seasonal workers
Delivery drivers
Travel services

Some flight connections have been reinstated in June, such as Alitalia’s Rome-New York route. Yet this does not mean that the restrictions for travelling into Italy have been lifted.

The US Embassy in Rome and Consulates General in Milan, Florence and Naples remain closed for their usual routine services, and only offer limited emergency services on a case-by-case basis.

Quarantine

Currently, Americans who enter Italy – for example returning residents – will be subject to quarantine for 14 days, according to the Italian government’s latest decree.

This also applies to those who are entering Italy via another European country on a connecting flight, such as via Germany or the UK, if they have been in the US (or anywhere else outside of Europe) within the past 14 days.

Official advice

The US Embassy in Rome directed us to the following advice for US citizens planning to travel to Italy:

Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
Have a plan to depart from Italy that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Italy.
Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the U.S.
Review the Italian National Institute of Health’s website (available only in Italian).


May 29, 2020

Italy had already loosened some of the rules at the beginning of the month, and from May 18th it relaxed them further. They’re due to change again on June 3rd.

Can I travel in and out of Italy?

The rules on international travel remain the same for now: you cannot leave or enter Italy unless absolutely necessary.

That means you can cross the border to return home, if you’ve been stranded abroad, or for urgent reasons of work or health, or in an emergency. Tourism or visiting a second home that is not your permanent address is not considered a valid reason.

Anyone arriving in Italy from overseas is currently subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine during which they must remain indoors.

The rules on international travel are set to change on June 3rd, with trips to and from the EU, Schengen Area and UK allowed without a quarantine.

Can I travel between regions of Italy?

Like international travel, crossing internal borders in Italy is effectively banned.

The government did not lift any of the restrictions on interregional travel in its latest rule change, which means that you’re only allowed to travel between regions for work, health reasons or other emergencies, or to return home. And you can be stopped by police, who’ll ask you to fill in an autocertificazione (‘self-certification’) form to justify your trip.

For example, if you have a medical appointment or need to be somewhere for work or business, you’re allowed to travel. However you’ll need proof, and police may check your story.

What exactly counts as an emergency or necessity is more open to interpretation by local authorities. If in doubt, contact your local comune or carabinieri police station.

These rules are set to change on June 3rd, when all restrictions on domestic travel will be lifted (unless local authorities say otherwise).

Can I make a trip within my region?

Yes. As of May 18th you’re free to travel within your own region for any reason, including to visit friends or for exercise, leisure or a holiday.

You’ll no longer need to carry an autocertificazione form if you’re travelling locally, and you can drive or take public transport.

Can I go to the beach?

So long as you stay within your own region, yes.

But be aware that local authorities may restrict access to beaches and other areas at risk of crowding. In Rome, for instance, the city council says you can go to the beach to exercise but not to sunbathe or picnic.

Check your local comune‘s website before setting off.

Can I go to my second home?

If it’s in the same region as your permanent address, sure.

Visiting a holiday home is not a valid reason to travel to another region or enter Italy from abroad, however.

If you let out your second home as a business, you could make the case that you need to travel to it for work reasons, especially now that limited tourism is restarting. But you must be able to prove that your trip is urgent and essential, not for something that could wait or be handled by someone else.

Are the rules the same across Italy?

The government’s latest decree states that movement can be limited by regional authorities “in relation to specific states and territories, in accordance with the principles of adequacy and proportionality to the epidemiological risk”.

In other words, areas with high numbers of coronavirus infections or that are considered particularly vulnerable may choose to set stricter local limits on travel.

Check the website of your regione or comune to find out which rules apply where you are.

Do I need to wear a mask when travelling?

Yes, if you’re taking public transport or a taxi, or riding in a car with someone you don’t live with.

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200519/what-are-the-new-rules-on-travel-around-italy


May 19, 2020

Can I travel to Italy right now?  If you are in North America, then the answer is not yet. 

Throughout May international travel to Italy remains possible, though not for tourism.

People who officially reside in Italy but are currently overseas may return to their Italian home, while anyone who can demonstrate that they need to enter the country for urgent work or health reasons or in an emergency will also be allowed in.

Upon arrival they must observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine, giving the address where they’ll self-isolate and informing local health authorities.

Incomers are not allowed to use public transport to reach their place of quarantine, so they’ll need to make arrangements to be picked up or to hire a car or taxi.

When will tourism be allowed again?

Most of Italy’s travel restrictions will be dropped from June 3rd, meaning that residents and visitors alike can move freely throughout the country for any reason – including tourism.

But for international tourists, the rules depend on which country you’re travelling from.

Who can travel to Italy from June 3rd?

From June 3rd Italy will drop the quarantine requirement for people arriving from certain countries, namely:

  • The 26 other members of the European Union
  • Schengen Area members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom
  • Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City

but not the USA or Canada, not yet. 

Tourists arriving from the approved countries will not face any restrictions upon entering Italy, though depending on their own country’s rules they may be required to quarantine when they return home.

Likewise Italian residents can make a trip to any of these countries without being required to quarantine when they return to Italy. You will face restrictions, however, if you’re coming from one of the approved countries but have visited somewhere not on the list within 14 days of travelling to Italy.

For example, a Brit who visited India, returned to the UK, then flew to Italy less than two weeks later would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, as would an American who connected in Germany on their way to Italy.

When will other foreign tourists be allowed back?

People from other countries will have to wait a bit longer before visiting Italy.

 

According to the government’s latest decree, tourists from outside the EU, Schengen Zone or the UK will not be allowed to enter Italy until at least June 15th.

When will Italy reopen next under new lockdown rules?

The government is expected to confirm when exactly Italy will reopen to other visitors by June 14th, which is when the current rules expire.

Until then people from other countries will still be allowed to enter Italy for the same emergency reasons they can now, but they will have to observe the two-week quarantine.

Many countries currently have travel warnings in place for Italy, advising residents to cancel or postpone their trip if possible. Check your embassy’s latest advice before planning to travel.

Sources:

BBC

https://www.thelocal.it/20200518/who-is-allowed-to-travel-to-italy-from-june-3rd


May 12, 2020

 

Italy on Monday reported fewer than 1,000 people in intensive care treatment for the new coronavirus for the first time since early March, the civil protection agency said.

With 999 people currently in intensive care, the figure is at its lowest since March 10th, when Italy introduced a nationwide lockdown, and less than a quarter of the 4,068 it reached at its peak on April 3rd.

Another 13,539 patients are receiving non-intensive hospital care and 67,950 are in self-isolation at home, making a total of 82,488 people currently positive for the virus.

Around one in four of the latest deaths occurred in Lombardy, the region that has now seen 15,054 of Italy’s 30,739 deaths since the outbreak began.

There were no new fatalities in Sardinia, Basilicata, Molise, Umbria, or Valle d’Aosta.

Another 744 coronavirus cases were confirmed on Monday, nearly half of them in Lombardy.

Italy has recorded 219,814 cases of the virus since January, though the real total is thought to be much higher.

The official number of deaths, which does not include people dying in care homes or the community, is also likely to be an underestimate.

Italy’s death toll is the third-highest in the world, after the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Italian government eased the virus lockdown restrictions slightly on May 4th but a larger-scale reopening is set for next week, when museums, shops, cultural sites, churches and libraries will reopen.

When will shops reopen, are schools restarting, and when can we get a haircut? Here are the key dates in ‘phase two’ of Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. This article was last updated on May 12th.
With phase two well underway, Italy has begun its slow return to normal life after more than six weeks of near-total shutdown.

The current set of rules is valid from May 4-18th, after which things will change again.

Here’s a guide to what has already been allowed to reopen, and what we can expect in the coming weeks – though the government has stressed that the decision to ease restrictions could be reversed if the coronavirus epidemic shows signs of worsening again.

From May 4th: Family visits, returning home, trips to the park, outdoor exercise, takeaways and funerals allowed

As of that date, people in Italy can once again:

Travel home. From May 4th you’re be allowed to travel from one region to another in order to return home. The form required to justify all movement in Italy has been updated accordingly.

Visit relatives who live in the same region as you. You have to wear a face mask and keep your distance, and big family gatherings remain banned. You won’t be able to visit friends or travel outside your own region.

Go to the park. While the national government has given the OK, not every regional governor has allowed parks to reopen.
Leave your neighborhood to exercise. You’re now allowed to go on long walks, runs or bike rides for exercise without having to stay within a 200-metre radius of your home address, as was previously the case. But you’ll be expected to maintain a safe distance from others at all times, and team sports remain banned.

Pick up a takeaway. Cafes and restaurants are allowed to serve takeaways from their premises – though food must be eaten at home, not on the street, to avoid groups gathering outside.

Hold a funeral. It’s once again possible to hold funerals. Attendees must be limited to 15 people – close family only – and should wear face masks and follow social distancing.

Go to work in construction, manufacturing, wholesale or real estate. These sectors will be allowed to resume activity from May 4th. At the same time, masks or other face coverings will become compulsory on public transport in Italy. They will also be required in enclosed spaces where social distancing is difficult, such as inside shops, offices and factories.

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200511/italy-now-has-fewer-than-1000-coronavirus-patients-in-intensive-care

https://www.thelocal.it/20200427/timeline-italy-what-will-reopen-first-phase-two-lockdown-covid-19-coronavirus


May 4, 2020

The country’s toll on the eve of its first easing of lockdown measures on Monday officially stood at 28,884 dead, second only to the United States.

The 1,389 new infections were also the lowest since the first week of March.

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte introduced waves of restrictions as the pandemic swept across the northern half of the country, the first to be heavily hit in Europe.

He imposed stay at home order for Milan’s Lombardy and two neighboring regions responsible for 45 percent of Italy’s economic output on March 8th. The measure was extended nationally on March 10th.

Conte closed all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores on March 12th, and all non-essential factories ten days later.

The easing on Monday will see Italians be able to visit parks and their nearby relatives for the first time in nine weeks.

But most businesses will remain closed for another two weeks. Bars and restaurants are due to start seating customers on June 1st.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200504/italys-coronavirus-deaths-fall-to-lowest-since-lockdown-began

NBC News


April 27, 2020

The 260 daily fatalities reported by Italy’s civil protection service were the lowest since March 14th.

Italy’s Covid-19 death toll currently stands at 26,644, second only to the United States.

The number of people infected with the virus in the Mediterranean nation rose by 256 to 106,103 after decreasing for six days in a row.

The number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 in Italy is currently 64,928.

Italy has recorded 197,675 coronavirus in total, including people who are infected, the deceased and the people who have recovered.

Main points:

Italy’s death toll passes 26,000
Country reports lowest daily death toll in five weeks on on Sunday April 26th
Schools to stay closed until September
Plan for life after lockdown unveiled
GDP to fall by eight percent
What’s the latest situation in Italy?

Italy reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in over a month on Sunday April 26th.
The 260 daily fatalities reported by Italy’s civil protection service were the lowest since March 14th.

Italy’s Covid-19 death toll currently stands at 26,644, second only to the United States.

The number of people infected with the virus in the Mediterranean nation rose by 256 to 106,103 after decreasing for six days in a row.

The number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 in Italy is currently 64,928.

Italy has recorded 197,675 coronavirus in total, including people who are infected, the deceased and the people who have recovered.

PM lays out plans for life after lockdown

Italy’s Prime Minister on Sunday announced eased restrictions from May 4th, almost two months after the country went into lockdown in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Phase two starts now,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said during the eagerly awaited TV announcement on Sunday night

Visiting relatives close by is allowed

From May 4th, Italians can visit relatives as long as they take precautions and under no condition should there be large gatherings or parties, Italy’s PM announced.

It will be possible to move from one municipality to another but the ban on travel between different regions of Italy continues, except for proven work matters, health reasons and extraordinary circumstances.

Fixed price for masks

“On May 4th, the price for masks will be reduced and fixed at €0.50,” Conte announced.

“VAT on masks will be scrapped in a forthcoming decree.”

More freedom to move around

“We will allow you to return to your second homes or villas, or visit public parks as long as there’s compliance with safety distances and requirements,” Conte said.

Outdoor exercise allowed

From May 4th, people in Italy will be able to exercise outdoors without restrictions or police checks (at any distance from home) as long as they follow social distancing of at least one metre.

Takeaway from restaurants now allowed

“From May 4th, we will give the go-ahead for take-away at restaurants,” Italy’s PM explained.

“We must go in one at a time and the food has to be consumed at home”.

“Businesses concerned are allowed to reopen under the assumption of compliance with the security protocols.

“There will also be safety measures for the transport companies”.

Funerals are now allowed

Conte also gave the green light for funerals to have up to 15 people attending, but they can only be close relatives and all of them must wear masks and maintain social distancing. No other ceremonies or gatherings are permitted.

Masks must be worn on public transport

The loosening of Italy’s lockdown goes hand in hand with the adoption of strict safety measures, especially in terms of the mandatory use of face masks on all public transport, Conte confirmed on Sunday’s TV announcement.

Face masks or other cloths or scarves must be worn over the nose and mouth and may also be made of fabric.

Anyone with a temperature must stay at home by law

Everyone with a fever of 37 degrees or more must stay at home, Italy’s government has decided, whereas before it was a recommendation and not a legal obligation.

Restricted rush hour numbers on public transport

Buses, metro services and other public transport in Italy will have a maximum number of passengers set during peak traffic times to respect the distance of one metre between people.

There will also be markers added to seats to indicate those that cannot be used.

Shops and cultural sites to open on May 18th

On May 18th, the reopening of all shops as well as “exhibitions, museums and cultural sites will be allowed if May 4th’s loosening of restrictions prove successful.

Bars, restaurants and hairdressers may open on June 1st

The lockdown will continue for bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauticians until at least June 1st.

For more details read the full article here.

Schools to stay closed until September

Italy’s schools were closed before most other businesses and will now be one of the last to reopen.

PM Conte said the return to school was filled with peril because many teachers were older and at greater risk of catching the virus.

“Schools are at the centre of our attention and will reopen in September,” the premier said.

Conte explained that resuming tuition before then involved “a very high risk of contagion”.

What’s the impact on the economy?

Italy’s economically-punishing coronavirus lockdown, combined with big-spend stimulus packages to support families and firms, will push public debt and deficit to dizzying heights, the government said.

The cabinet has approved the spring budget document (DEF), which forecast that the eurozone’s third-largest economy would plunge into a deep recession this year, with gross domestic product retracting by eight percent.
The government is widening the budget deficit by 55 billion euros ($59 billion), the “shock cure necessary to enable the country to face this difficult phase,” said cabinet undersecretary Riccardo Fraccaro, as quoted by Italian media.

The government has forecast that GDP would fall by eight percent, with the public deficit rising to 10.4 percent of GDP.

It also expected that most of Italy’s new sovereign debt created by the crisis around the pandemic will be bought by the European Central Bank.

Rome is tabling on a return to growth, with a 4.7 percent rebound in GDP.

It thinks the deficit will lower to 5.7 percent, while the country’s vast public debt mountain will shrink slightly to 152.7 percent.

What are Italy’s lockdown rules?

From April 14, certain shops and businesses were allowed to reopen as the government eased restrictions slightly, including bookshops, dry cleaners and children’s clothing stores.

See here for a full list of businesses now allowed to operate.

Italy had shut all stores except for supermarkets, pharmacies and a handful of others and closed down all but the most essential businesses.

Shops won’t be reopening in all parts of Italy, however, as some regions have chosen to keep local rules tighter. And some business owners themselves have opted to stay closed.

Travel between different towns remains forbidden except for work or in emergency situations, and people are only allowed to go outside if necessary – for example, to buy groceries or go to work.

Travel to Italy remains almost impossible and may only be attmpted in emergency situation.

Anyone travelling, or leaving their home for any reaso, must carry an official “self-certification” form, giving their details and reason for being outdoors.

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200426/italy-records-its-lowest-daily-covid-19-death-toll-since-march-14th

https://www.thelocal.it/20200308/should-you-be-concerned-about-the-coronavirus-in-italy


April 21, 2020

There were 20 fewer active cases of coronavirus in Italy on Monday than there were on Sunday, according to the latest official figures from the Civil Protection department: 108,237 compared to 108,257.

“For the first time, we have seen a new positive development: the number of [people] currently positive has declined,” Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

Overall, however, the total number of confirmed cases continued to increase, though at a slower rate.

The number of “active cases” is not the same as confirmed cases. It is the total number of confirmed cases reported that day, minus the day’s number of dead and recovered patients – a new, much lower figure, which the Italian government began using at the end of March.

Two Italian regions reported zero new cases on Monday: Basilicata in the south and Valle d’Aosta in the north-west. Umbria and Molise in central Italy recorded just one and two new cases respectively, while Calabria in the south-east had three.

In the worst-affected region of Lombardy, the daily increase in cases slowed from 855 to 735, while in Piedmont it dropped off from 593 to 292.

Italy’s current near-total lockdown is due to expire on May 4th, though restrictions are expected to continue in some form for several more months.

The government has not yet announced which measures will be relaxed from May.

While some are calling for business to resume to mitigate the economic blow of Italy’s lockdown, doctors are urging caution and a carefully staggered restart.

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200420/italy-active-coronavirus-cases-drop-for-first-time


April 13, 2020

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte announced on Friday that the lockdown in Italy would be extended until May 3rd, as the country struggles to fully contain the spread of Covid-19.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday refused to bow to business pressure and extended the Mediterranean country’s economically-crippling lockdown until May 3.

Conte made the announcement after Italy’s official COVID-19 toll climbed by another 570 fatalities to 18,849 — more than any other country — but with the growth rate now just a fraction of what it was a few weeks ago.

Media reports said business unions from regions responsible for 45 percent of Italy’s production — and 80 percent of its coronavirus deaths — had written to Conte warning that companies will be unable to pay wages if the shutdown runs on.

But Conte said Italy could not afford another spike in infections and needed to exercise extra caution in the face of the new disease.

“We are all, I imagine, impatient to get going again,” Conte said in a televised address.

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

 

He said the extension of the lockdown for another three weeks was “a difficult but necessary decision for which I assume full political responsibility”.

Conte’s decision followed days of consultations with scientists and union leaders with a range of conflicting concerns.

A miscalculation by Conte could either result in a new spike in infections or do unnecessary damage to the economy — and people’s livelihoods — by keeping everything shut for longer than strictly required.

 

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200410/italy-set-to-extend-lockdown-until-early-may


April 7, 2020

Coronavirus patient treated in hospital in Turin Italy

Italy’s coronavirus figures, while still worryingly high, continued to show a steady downward trend on Tuesday according to the latest offical data.

With a total of 3.039 new cases confirmed on Tuesday, the number of infections continued to slow in Italy.
ANALYSIS: How and when will Italy’s lock down end?

The daily infection rate reached a new low of just 2.3 percent, Italy’s Department for Civil Protection stated.

The number of patients in intensive care also decreased by 106 to 3.792 on Tuesday, and 1.555 patients have recovered from the virus in 24 hours, with recoveries rising to a total of over 24,000.
There were 604 new fatalities reported.

In total, 17,127 lives have now been lost to the virus in Italy, and there have been 135.586 cases in total since the outbrk began, according to official figures.
The highest daily reported death toll was 969 on March 27.

Health officials warned that the outbreak appears to have peaked in some areas only because of the various closures and bans, which they insist must remain in place – perhaps until a vaccine is developed or some reliable tests can show who has immunity against the new disease.

“We are far from the end,” the scientific committee’s head Domenico Arcuri told reporters on Tuesday ahead of government talks on the quarantine measures.

“The number of men and women who will die from the virus will continue to rise.”

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte consulted the committee of top scientists on Tuesday about ways to safely end the lockdown, which has now been in place for almost a month.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200407/coronavirus-latest-cases-continue-to-slow-as

April 3, 2020

The number of new confirmed infections continued to slow slightly on Friday with 4,585 new cases in the last 24 hours, compared to 4,668 on Thursday.

The number of people to have officially recovered from the virus in Italy continues to grow with another 1,480 in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 19, 758. Although the real number is likely to be far higher given most mild cases of the disease were never tested.

The number of patients in intensive care across Italy’s hospitals was 4,068, although that figure is a rise of only 15 on Thursday’s number, which 18 more than on Wednesday. In the early stages of the epidemic the number of people being admitted to intensive care rose by hundreds each day.

All Italian regions have recorded numerous coronavirus deaths but nowhere has been harder hit than Lombardy in the north which now counts over 8,000 victims of the virus. Emilia-Romagna and Piemonte have both recorded over 1,000 deaths.

The Italian government on Wednesday extended the country’s current lock down measures until April 13th.

 

From hospital fundraisers to paying for a family’s groceries, here are some of the ways Italians have come up with to help each other during the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy is the country by far worst hit by the coronavirus crisis in Europe, and it has seen almost one-third of all deaths from the virus worldwide.

Funding for healthcare is badly needed, as even the country’s best hospitals struggle with the sheer volume of coronavirus cases.

But while the nationwide lock down measures imposed on March 12th seem to be helping to contain the outbreak, this has also caused serious economic problems for a country where poverty was already rife.

Millions of people in Italy are now thought to be out of work, with many left without the money for food and essentials. In poorer southern regions especially the situation is getting desperate.

Many of our readers in Italy and beyond have asked if there’s anything they can do to help, whether through donating or volunteering. We’ve compiled a list of initiatives in the country which we hope you may find useful.

The list is not exhaustive and we’ll continue to add to it.

Read More

Source

https://www.thelocal.it/20200403/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-rises-by-766-in-a-day-data-statistics

https://www.thelocal.it/20200403/how-you-can-help-italy-during-the-coronavirus-crisis

March 30, 2020

Italy imposes strict new restrictions on anyone entering the country

Anyone entering Italy must declare their presence to the authorities and spend two weeks in quarantine, under the latest restrictions imposed by the Italian government to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
As of March 28, passengers entering Italy by plane, boat, rail or road must declare their reason for travel, the address where they plan to self-isolate, how they intend to travel there, and their phone number so that authorities can contact them throughout an obligatory 14-day quarantine during which they are required to stay indoors at all times.

The information should be given to the airline or transport company before boarding, if applicable, while every traveler should also report to the local health authorities upon arrival, including those who enter Italy in their own vehicle.

Transport providers should check passengers’ temperatures and deny boarding to anyone with a fever, the new decree from Italy’s health and transport ministries states.

While all travelers are required to self-quarantine whether they have symptoms or not, anyone who develops signs of Covid-19 respiratory illness – most commonly coughing, fever and/or fatigue – should alert the Italian health service immediately via one of the dedicated regional phone lines.

If travelers do not have accommodation in Italy or are unable to reach it safely, the Civil Protection department will decide where they should be quarantined, with any expenses involved to be paid by the travelers themselves.

The restrictions apply to everyone entering Italy, regardless of nationality, except for crew members, people transporting goods and healthcare workers.

Meanwhile transport providers are required to ensure passengers remain one meter apart from each other on board. Airlines are also advised to give out face masks and other protective equipment to passengers and crew to wear throughout flights.

Source:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200330/coronavirus-new-restrictions-on-people-entering-italy


March 23, 2020

‘Do not let your guard down’: Spike in Italy’s coronavirus deaths shows small signs of slowing

The number of new infections rose by a relatively modest 10.4 percent.

“The figures announced today are lower than those for yesterday,” Italian civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

“I hope and we all hope that these figures can be borne out in the coming days. But do not let your guard down.”

Italy has sacrificed its economy and liberties by shutting down and banning almost everything to halt the spread of a virus the government views as an existential threat.

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte took the extra step on Saturday of announcing plans to close “non-essential” factories until April 3.

Conte has also indicated that the national lock down will almost certainly be extended for an unknown number of weeks or even months.

Nearly 8,000 doctors volunteer for Italy’s coronavirus task force

Italy makes major moves to control the crisis.

Nearly 8,000 doctors volunteered to help out on the front lines of Italy’s coronavirus crisis, more than 25 times the number the authorities had sought.

Italy’s Civil Protection department was aiming to create a task force of 300 doctors from all over Italy to help treat patients in the worst-hit regions of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna.

Within 24 hours of putting out the call, they had received more than 7,900 applications, the department announced.

“Thanks to all the doctors who joined the operation to support regional health services,” it said in a statement, adding that it would begin assessing the applications right away.

The department had said it was first and foremost seeking anaesthetists, but would welcome applications from doctors in any field.

“This is about creating a rapid response team,” said the head of the Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli. “The doctors selected will work alongside regional health service staff and volunteers who are already assisting in hospitals treating coronavirus patients.”

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200323/nearly-8000-doctors-volunteer-for-italy-coronavirus-task-force

https://www.thelocal.it/20200322/breaking-italy-reports-651-new-coronavirus-deaths-as-toll-nears-5500


March 20, 2020

A bit of good news came out today from Europe.

Dutch scientists discover an antibody against the coronavirus

A group of ten scientists at Erasmus MC and Utrecht University claim to have discovered an antibody against COVID-19. This antibody has not as yet been tested on humans- and this process could take months.

The findings have already been published this Thursday on BioRxiv, where biologists can publish their research and colleagues can react. These results may also be published by Nature, a leading journal after the paper has been assessed.

Although the antibody could take months to be tested on humans, a professor told RTLNieuws that it is the first to block the virus and has a good chance of reaching the market.

Sources:


March 17th, 2020

Great advice about when you should consider canceling your trip to Europe.

Stay Strong People!


March 16th, 2020

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned on Monday that his country was entering “the riskiest weeks” and urged a coordinated European response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“European coordination on health and economic measures is needed,” Conte told the Corriere della Sera newspaper ahead of a planned video conference on Monday between Group of Seven (G7) leaders.

“It is time for courageous choices and Italy can offer a significant contribution as the country that was the first in Europe to have have experienced such a wide spread of the virus,” he said.

Conte said “no new prohibitions are needed” but urged everyone to stay home as much as possible and only venture outside alone.

 

“Scientists tell us that we have not yet reached the peak. These are the riskiest weeks and we need the utmost precaution,” said Conte.

“We can no longer afford behavioral errors,” said Conte. “Things like people leaving Milan on weekends to spend time with their family or at their residences in the south must absolutely stop.”

The virus “is our most important challenge of the past decades,” Conte said.

What do we know about those who have passed away in Italy?

There hasn’t been a lot of data available on those who have died in connection to the outbreak, but the picture became somewhat clearer on Friday March 13th as health authorities released a new set of data.

“The data on mortality are deepening with the medical records of the deceased,” said president of the Higher Institute of Health, Silvio Brusaferro, as he presented the new data on Friday.

The picture is very similar to that given by the previous set of statistics released on March 5: the median age of the deceased is 80, the majority of victims are male, and they had an average of 2.7 pre-existing health conditions.

Almost all patients were already suffering from serious health problems, including cancer, when the coronavirus infection was detected, according to the new data from Italy’s Higher Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, or ISS).

Two of those who died had no pre-existing health conditions, the data showed.

“Patients who died with coronavirus have an average age of over 80 years, 80.3. The peak of mortality is in the 80-89 year age range. the number of deaths among the sick, is higher among those over 80,”

On March 5, the average given age of the deceased was slightly higher at 81 years old, but the overall picture remains very similar.

Brusaferro stated that two patients under the age of 40 had died. Both were aged 39.

One had a tumor and died in hospital, while the other died at home and “had some comorbid factors including diabetes, obesity and other types of ailments that characterized his life before becoming infected,” said Brusaferro.

Rome Residents Sing From Their Windows

People across Italy have been rallying to keep each others’ spirits up as the whole country gets used to life under quarantine.
From organizing fundraisers for hospitals and getting groups of volunteers together to help the elderly to starting impromptu singalongs with neighbors from their balconies, Italians are banding together to fight the coronavirus outbreak and keep spirits high – despite having to spend much of the day indoors under quarantine.

Streets have been eerily quiet across Italian towns and cities, particularly at night, under the new restrictions.

One night of silence on Wednesday proved more than enough for some residents of the Tuscan town of Siena, who by Thursday night were singing a harmony from their windows to liven things up.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200316/these-are-the-riskiest-weeks-italys-pm-calls-for-eu-unity-on-coronavirus

https://www.thelocal.it/20200311/coronavirus-what-do-we-know-about-the-victims-in-italy


March 12th, 2020

As we watch the amazing times around the world we want to bring you some of the latest news from within Italy and how it affects travel and life in Italy and Europe. We will update this page as major changes are announced.

April 3rd is the date in which the restrictions within Italy are re-assessed.

At this time there are is a Level 3 – avoid unnecessary travel to all of Italy except the North for Americans. The RedZone and orders to stay inside do not apply to foreigners, only to residents of Italy.

Americans are still allowed to travel to and from Italy. The recent airfare travel restrictions were for people FROM Europe to the USA.

While we understand most will not be traveling at this time, we want to make sure we give you the most accurate information.

Italy’s death rate is higher than other areas because Italy has a very large population over 75 years old. The majority of the deaths have been people over 80.

This is a very fast and fluid situation that is changing daily. We are now re-scheduling most trips to the fall of 2020. We expect this to affect the spring travel period, but based on the fact that China is seeing a large decline in new cases over a 3 month period we hope this will be over by the summer.

The staff and owners of Italy4Real and Travel4Real are making sure our staff and families are safe and secure. Because we are in WA state

Here is the latest news…

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest wave of restrictions in a press conference on Wednesday night, in a dramatic appeal to the nation as it battles its biggest crisis in generations.

“We will close shops, bars, pubs and restaurants. Home delivery is allowed,” Conte said in a nine-minute national television address.

Big businesses such as factories can remain open as long as they adopt “appropriate security measures to prevent contagion,” Conte said.

Conte asked people to stay indoors unless they need to buy food or other necessities.

People are also allowed to leave the house and travel to work, if their employer has not put them on leave or allowed remote working.

Conte did not announce any new restriction on transport in the address. He said essential public services, including public transport and utilities, are “guaranteed”.

The Italian leader stressed in his nine-minute evening prime time address that there was “no need to rush to buy groceries” because food stores would stay open throughout.

Great News! – Drug may be working on COVID-19

Drug Actemra

The situation in Italy is dire when it comes to COVID-19. Authorities and science are doing the impossible to make progress in combating this virus. Tocilizumab is a drug that treats moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. It can also treat polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA).

A Chinese -Italian Team in Napes, Italy has been experimenting with this drug to fight Covid-19.  This news was spread in the Italian press and from the sources of Italian secure communications: RAI-TV
A collaboration between the Colli Hospital, the Cancer Institute of Naples and Chinese doctors, it was verified that “Tocilizumab” can give positive results in the care of people infected with Coronavirus.
Two patients from Naples immediately responded
The drug was administered to two patients hospitalized at Cotugno Hospital (in Naples), suffering from severe Covid-19 pneumonia last Saturday. 24 hours after the infusion, encouraging improvements were highlighted, especially in one of the two patients, who arrived at the hospital as a particularly critical case. This was reported by the Neapolitan hospital of the Hills.
The same drug has been used in China in 21 patients and now for the first time has been administered in Italy in Coronavirus patience.
Based on this experiment it is currently evaluated if treating other critically ill patients is recommended.
The International team
The result was made possible thanks to a great team effort mentioning: the Oncology of the Azienda dei Colli by Vincenzo Montesarchio, the Oncological Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapies of Pascale by Paolo Ascierto together with the virologist Franco Buonaguro, and some Chinese doctors, including Wei Haiming Ming from the First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China as well as the team of doctors from Cotugno, composed among others by Rodolfo Punzi, director of the department of infectious diseases and infectious diseases, Roberto Parrella, director of Uoc Diseases respiratory infectives, Fiorentino Fragranza, director of the Uoc Anesthesia resuscitation and intensive care, Vincenzo Sangiovanni, director of the Uoc Systemic infections and immunosuppressed, Nicola Maturo, head of the Infectivology First Aid always by Cotugno and Luigi Atripaldi, director of the Microbiology laboratory and virology.
Sources:

March 9th, 2020

Now is the time to get your airfare to

Travel Planning During Coronavirus
5-steps to help you

 

We know you are worried about travel right now. More than likely travel is the last thing on your mind, but if you have a trip planned or were planning a trip when the ***t hit the fan, you will benefit from reading this.

As of March 9th, 2020, certain precautions are already in place nationwide across all of Italy, including keeping children home from schools and closing museums, historic sites, cinemas and other venues likely to draw crowds. All these are in place until April 3rd, 2020.

In place until April 3rd, 2020.. what this means is that even if they extend the quarantine for a few extra months, summer travel and 2021 are going to be packed with bookings.

This step-by-step guide should give you some guidance.

1. Stay informed, but don’t get crazy about it. It’s going to get worse before it gets better but its a very fluid situation and its moving fast. This all began in China in late December, and its already declining in China now and its only March, so its moving quickly and that’s a good thing. This webpage with the latest updates and news from inside Italy, so come back often.

2. Get your plan in place now. Travel companies are slow during this period, so take advantage and get your route planned and organized so when the time is right, its so easy to book and go! It seems strange to plan a trip during this time, but its just like buying stocks when they are low. When this blows over, and it will; Italy and Western Europe will see a wave of support from travelers from all over the world. While this will be a good thing for most, it may mean long wait lines on the phone for airlines or hotels booking full due to all the reservations that have been moved to later in the year.

3. Take advantage of the new cancelation rules by the airlines and re-booking rules by hotels. If you have booked your airfare, you may qualify for a refund, re-booking or removal of fees. Contact your booking agent or airline. While hotels are not offering refunds or date changes to 2021, they are allowing reservations to be moved later in 2020.

4. Be adventurous, save lots of $$ and avoid the crowds. While most of the world believes Italy must be avoided now, the airports in Rome, Naples, Sicily are all running normally and the crowds in these places are very low. The national red zone will be lifted on April 3rd.  In the Amalfi Coast for example, in March you can get a 5-Star hotel for the cost of a 3-Star and still see the amazing views. Avoid crowds, get your own rental car and go! We actually have customers who are taking advantage of this. Italy has 60 million people; only a minute fraction are sick from this new flu. Get a quote now. Travelers are allowed to leave Italy, the quarantine is for residents of Italy.

5. Get travel insurance. We get insurance for our own trips and we recommend it for all of our customers trips. Why? because airlines loose luggage, work schedules change, flights are delayed every day; not to mention getting sick.

The following are some general guidelines regarding the various coverages that may be available (items below are examples):

Trip Delay: Additional meal, local transportation and accommodation expenses may be reimbursed up to the amount provided by the plan if you have left home and travel is delayed 6 hours or more due to common carrier (such as airplane) delays or cancellations. Coverage may also apply due to quarantine. Additional covered reasons may apply. The dollar amount of coverage will be based on the plan you selected.

Missed Connection – This benefit can reimburse unused land and water arrangements and additional transportation to catch up to the trip if you miss your cruise or tour departure because you are delayed for three hours or more by a covered reason. Covered reasons can include a three hour delay of a common carrier (such as an airplane), or if you are placed in quarantine due to the coronavirus. The dollar amount of coverage for Missed Connection will vary depending on the plan you purchased.

Trip Interruption – plans offer Trip Interruption coverage for your travel arrangements if they are disrupted and you must join your trip late, leave early, or return later than originally scheduled due to a covered reason. Depending on the plan, covered reasons to interrupt the trip can include: quarantine due to the coronavirus or a government-mandated shutdown of an airport or air traffic control system for reasons other than terrorism or an act of war. You may also be covered if you lose 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration due to quarantine because of the coronavirus or due to a common carrier (such as an airplane) delay. Trip Interruption bases the dollar amount of coverage on the amount of trip cost you insured on the plan. To be certain that you have this protection, please review your plan documents or call your agent.

Trip Cancellation – plans offer Trip Cancellation of your trip if your arrival on the trip is delayed and causes you to lose 50% or more of the scheduled trip duration due to the reasons covered under the Missed Connection benefit. Covered reasons can include if you are quarantined and it results in you losing 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration or if a common carrier (such as an airplane) delay results in you losing 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration. The dollar amount of coverage is determined by the amount of trip cost you insured on the plan. Please read your plan documents for specific information.

This information is a general overview of coverages that may apply if travel plans are impacted by the coronavirus. The coverage available for your trip will be based on the terms in your travel protection plan.

Get your travel insurance quote now

We hope these steps gave you some small outline of things you can do about planning a trip during this crazy time.

Delta announces unpresented flight change for new ticket purchases

No Change Fees For All Tickets Purchased Between March 1-31, 2020
  • Affected Customers: All Tickets issued between March 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
  • Impacted Travel Date(s): March 1, 2020 – February 25, 2021
  • Ticket Can Be Changed One-Time To An Alternate Itinerary. Must Be Re-issued On/Before: February 28, 2021
  • Rebooked Travel Must Begin No Later Than: February 28, 2021
What this means for planning a trip during the Coronavirus crisis?  You can buy your ticket knowing there will be no change fee in the future if you need to change plans. This is a great security blanket that gives you the peace of mind knowing it wont cost you to change.
Sources:

March 8th, 2020

Italian lawyer Giuseppe Conte addresses journalists / AFP PHOTO / Vincenzo PINTO

The government approved drastic measures early Sunday putting much of the north under quarantine measures until April 3 in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a press conference held in the early hours of Sunday morning that he had signed off on plans to strictly limit movement in and out of large areas including Venice and the financial capital Milan for nearly a month.

 

 

These include the entire Lombardy region as well as Venice and its surrounding areas, and the cities of Parma and Rimini – affecting a quarter of Italy’s population of 60 million.

People in these areas are advised to stay at home as much as possible, the newspaper said, adding that the restrictions would be in place until April 3.

People will be allowed to return home from outside these regions, while bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open provided it is possible for customers to stay one metre (three feet) away from one another.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200307/update-italy-extends-coronavirus-quarantine-measures-to-milan-and-venice


March 5th, 2020

Most Italian regions have under 50 confirmed cases. Only Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna have a high number of cases, as the map below shows.

Most of the victims to have died from the virus in Italy were in Lombardy, where the outbreak began.

Lombardy’s main city is Milan, but it also home to tourist towns like Bergamo and Como in the north.

There have also been fatalities in the regions of Veneto and Emilia Romagna and in Marche.

Most of those patients who died were elderly, many with underlying health problems. Many were also already in hospital receiving treatment when they contracted the virus.

The overall figure for the number of cases includes over 250 patients deemed to have recovered from the virus.

Around half the infected patients were being treated in hospital with a smaller deemed to be in critical condition.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus have mild disease and recover.

These figures in the map are the latest for the number of coronavirus cases per region, including deaths and recoveries.

While Italy appears to be in the grip on a coronavirus emergency, with several towns on lockdown and the government in a rush to prevent the virus spreading further, it’s important to note that not all of the country is badly affected by the illness.

Lombardy is still the worst hit region.

Readers will likely have heard about Italian towns in lockdown with police threatening to fine people if they enter or leave the areas where an outbreak has been reported.

While this is all true (see our latest article), there are currently only 11 towns in the north of the country where these draconian measures are in place – although the number may increase.

The list and map below gives you an idea of the towns affected.

Ten of the towns are in a small area south-east of Milan in the region of Lombardy, while one is in the north-eastern region of Veneto.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said that the 50,000 affected residents could face weeks of lockdown in an effort to sit out the virus.

In these towns regional authorities have ordered gathering spots, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and discos to close. Schools have also closed.

 

Coronavirus map March 5th 202

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200303/map-which-parts-of-italy-are-affected-by-coronavirus-outbreak


March 4th, 2020

The Italian government confirmed that Italy’s schools and universities would close on Thursday until the March 15th as a precaution amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Italian government on Wednesday also issued new guidance aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

Rules in place for the next 30 days include no hugging or handshakes, and over-75s are advised to stay at home.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that a draft of the new emergency decree also contained a ban on public events across the whole country and provisions for the closure of all cinemas and theatres.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are temporarily suspending some flights between US airports and Milan because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in parts of northern Italy, the two carriers announced on Monday.

Delta is suspending flights between New York’s busy John F. Kennedy International Airport and Milan Malpensa, the largest airport in northern Italy and a major hub for Alitalia, the airline said in a statement Sunday.

Delta’s last New York-to-Milan flight will take off Monday, while the last flight in the opposite direction is scheduled for Tuesday. Service is set to resume on May 1 or 2. If you are traveling on Delta to Italy, you may be able to change your tickets without a fee. Ask your agent for details.

American Airlines said late on Saturday that it was suspending service between New York and Milan as well as between Miami and Milan until April 25, citing a “reduction in demand.”

Both airlines said passengers will have a choice of rebooking on a later flight or being reimbursed.

The decision came after the US State Department raised its alert level for travel to the Lombardy and Veneto regions of northern Italy to its highest level  Level 4, a “do not travel” alert, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lombardy, which includes Milan, and Veneto are the two regions worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Should you cancel your trip? We recommend a wait and see, if the places you are going are directly affected. Many of the closures are scheduled to end sometime in March and early April.

Is it safe to travel to Italy right now?
While Italy has confirmed more cases of coronavirus than any other country in Europe, the Italian government has urged tourists not to abandon travel plans.
Officials stress that most of the country remains largely unaffected by the outbreak, which is concentrated in parts of northern Italy. Closures of schools and events are a precautionary step which is said to end sometime in March.
Officials say that it remains safe to travel to Italy – so long as you take the same precautions you would against the flu.

They include:

  • Avoiding any areas that Italian authorities have blocked off;
  • Washing hands often;
  • Keeping unwashed hands away from eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Avoiding contact with unwell people.
Many of the restrictions that are in affect end sometime in March or early April. If you are planning a trip to Italy during that time, hotels and services are offering to move your reservations to another time in the year 2020 but are not offering refunds currently.
We are not seeing any quarantining of any other parts of Italy other than the areas located 40 miles outside Milan and Venice.
United, Delta and American offer waivers to change your trip without a fee if you have a trip going to Northern Italy, but those are only in effect until late March to Early April.
At this time, we are not seeing refunds from suppliers but re-scheduling of trips that are planned in March and April to later times in the year without penalty. This is on a case by case basis for those traveling in March and April only. We are not seeing any changes to scheduling past that at this point.
We strongly recommend that you get travel insurance to protect your trip and give you peace of mind during this time. Get a free quote from us, just ask.
We will be updating you as things change, this is a very fluid situation that is moving and changing fast, this is why we believe this will have settled down within the month.
Visit this website often for the latest information.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200304/italy-to-take-decision-on-closing-all-schools-over-coronvirus

https://www.thelocal.it/20200302/coronavirus-delta-and-american-airlines-suspend-several-milan-flights

https://www.thelocal.it/20200229/should-i-cancel-my-trip-to-italy-because-of-the-coronavirus


March 3rd, 2020

 

Silvio Brusaferro

Silvio Brusaferro

The next seven days will be “decisive” in stopping the spread, said the head of Italy’s National Health Institute Silvio Brusaferro.

“At the end of the week we will understand if and how much the containment measures put in place have slowed the epidemic,” he told local media at a press conference on Monday.

“We expect positive results, I am optimistic. We ask all citizens for collaboration. Their help is important for breaking the chain of infections,”

He said the cases being confirmed now were likely to be people who were infected before the measures were put in place.

In the majority of Italian cities, including Rome and Florence, little has changed. For most residents life continues as normal.
Some northern cities, particularly Milan and Venice, have seen disruption since the outbreak began, with many schools, museums and other public buildings temporarily closed last week as a precaution.
In southern Italy, where only a handful of cases have been detected so far, life continues as usual.
There are currently no further travel restrictions in place in Italy, and no government has imposed a blanket ban on travel to the country although countries are advising residents against travelling to the worst-hit regions like Lombardy.
However the United States has issued a Level 3 travel warning for Italy, advising against all non-essential travel to the country due to “widespread community transmission” of Coronavirus.
Airports and international borders remain open as usual.
The Italian government has urged tourists not to abandon travel plans, stressing that most of the country currently remains unaffected by the outbreak.
Most Italian regions have under 50 confirmed cases. Only Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna have a high number of cases, as the map below shows.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus have mild disease and recover.
Coronavirus Map March 3

 

 

Stella Kyriakides EU Health Chief

 

“This is a situation of concern but we must not give in to panic,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told reporters in Rome after meeting Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza.

“We must also be vigilant when it comes to misinformation and disinformation as well as xenophobic statements which are misleading citizens and putting in question the work of public authorities,” she added.

 

 

Airport screening

 

In a tweet on March 1, US President Donald Trump announced additional screening of travelers from “designated high risk countries.”

Vice President Mike Pence said that anyone traveling to the United States on a flight from Italy and South Korea will receive multiple screenings before arriving in the United States. His comments were made during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 2.

Pence would not go into specifics as to which other countries were being considered for increased screening and advisories, but he did mention the European Union, as you don’t need a passport to travel between those countries, and that there have been new cases popping up there.

Health screenings are already in place in the US for those traveling from China. American citizens, lawful permanent residents and their family members who have been in China within the last 14

days require screening at one of 11 designated US airports.

Those screenings involve a temperature check and observations for symptoms.

Foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days are barred from entering the US.

US citizens and permanent residents returning to the United States who have traveled to Iran within the previous 14 days must enter through an approved airport. Foreign nationals who have traveled to Iran within the last 14 days will be denied permission to travel to the US.

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.it/20200303/map-which-parts-of-italy-are-affected-by-coronavirus-outbreak

https://www.thelocal.it/20200302/should-you-be-concerned-about-the-coronavirus-in-italy

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/coronavirus-travel-advice/index.html


March 2nd, 2020

Rome in the time of the Coronavirus

From our friends in Rome. A video of life in Rome during the Coronavirus scare.. its a reality check we all need to see.

Is it safe to travel to Italy right now?

While 34 people have died and some 1,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, the Italian government has urged tourists not to abandon travel plans, saying there is no reason to fear visiting the country and stressing that most of the country currently remains unaffected by the outbreak, which is concentrated in parts of northern Italy.
The State Department updated its travel advisory to its highest level — Level 4 — urging Americas “Do Not Travel” to the Lombard and Veneto regions in northern Italy.
The travel advisory cited quarantines set up in 10 Lombard towns and one in Veneto, with a combined population of 50,000 people, as well as “the level of community transmission of the virus”
“Out of over 7,000 towns in Italy, just over a dozen are affected by this epidemic,” stated Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday.
Places like Rome, The Amalfi Coast and Sicily remain unaffected.
It remains safe to travel to Italy (and to live here, for that matter) – so long as you take the same precautions you would against the flu and follow the local authorities’ instructions.

They include:

  • Avoiding any areas that Italian authorities have blocked off;
  • Washing hands often;
  • Keeping unwashed hands away from eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Avoiding contact with unwell people.
  • What do other countries think?
No government has yet imposed a blanket travel ban on Italy.
Neighboring countries have said their borders with Italy will remain open, and the only systematic flight restrictions are on direct flights between Italy and China, which were suspended at the end of January.
The US on Saturday issued a travel warning for Italy, advising against all non-essential travel to the country due to “widespread community transmission” of the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “recommends that travellers avoid all non-essential travel to Italy,” it said in a statement, claiming that “there is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”
The only no-go areas in Italy are a handful of small towns in northern Italy, where authorities have ordered a lockdown to help contain the virus.
Eleven towns are under quarantine, most in the north-western region of Lombardy where more than 250 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed so far. Nine elderly patients have died in Lombardy.
They are: Codogno; Castiglione d’Adda; Casalpusterlengo; Fombio; Maleo; Somaglia; Bertonico; Terranova dei Passerini; Castelgerundo; and San Fiorano.
MAP: Which parts of Italy are affected by coronavirus outbreak?
Vo’Euganeo in the Veneto region has also been declared a ‘red zone’.
The map below, created by the Italian government, shows where the areas on lockdown are located.
Coronavirus Italy map March 2nd 2020
Italy’s foreign ministry stresses that the area in isolation represents a tiny fraction – .0.04 percent – of the country.
These areas are not close to any major cities or tourist hotspots.
In these towns, which have a combined population of around 50,000, police and military officers have set up checkpoints to control entries and exits. Residents have been told they need special authorization to leave until further notice.
Travellers should not attempt to visit any of the towns in isolation. And anyone who does enter is at risk of not being allowed to leave for up to several weeks.

Will I get my money back if I want to cancel my trip to Italy?

The short answer is not necessarily.  Airlines and hotels are not offering any refunds for travel booked to Italy. The ONLY way you can cancel and get a portion of your costs back is through travel insurance. Italy4Real and Travel4Real uses TravelSafe Insurance and this is an update on basic coverages for your trip.

You may be able to change your travel dates to later in the summer but this is a case by case basis based on where you are going and what airline you are traveling with. Ask your agent for details.

Below, you will find coverage information regarding TravelSafe Insurance plans.

COVID-19 was officially declared a public emergency by the World Health Organization. While travel suppliers and airlines are trying to accommodate travelers, some delays and cancellations are inevitable. TravelSafe understands those with plans affected by the coronavirus will have questions about their coverage, and they are encouraged to call us 24/7 with any questions.

The following are some general guidelines regarding the various coverages that may be available (items below are examples):

Trip Delay: Additional meal, local transportation and accommodation expenses may be reimbursed up to the amount provided by the plan if you have left home and travel is delayed 6 hours or more due to common carrier (such as airplane) delays or cancellations. Coverage may also apply due to quarantine. Additional covered reasons may apply. The dollar amount of coverage will be based on the plan you selected.  Please refer to your plan documents for complete details.

Missed Connection – This benefit can reimburse unused land and water arrangements and additional transportation to catch up to the trip if you miss your cruise or tour departure because you are delayed for three hours or more by a covered reason. Covered reasons can include a three hour delay of a common carrier (such as an airplane), or if you are placed in quarantine due to the coronavirus. The dollar amount of coverage for Missed Connection will vary depending on the plan you purchased.  For more details, please review your plan documents.

Trip Interruption – TravelSafe plans offer Trip Interruption coverage for your travel arrangements if they are disrupted and you must join your trip late, leave early, or return later than originally scheduled due to a covered reason. Depending on the TravelSafe plan, covered reasons to interrupt the trip can include:  quarantine due to the coronavirus or a government-mandated shutdown of an airport or air traffic control system for reasons other than terrorism or an act of war.  You may also be covered if you lose 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration due to quarantine because of the coronavirus or due to a common carrier (such as an airplane) delay.  Trip Interruption bases the dollar amount of coverage on the amount of trip cost you insured on the plan. To be certain that you have this protection, please review your plan documents or call TravelSafe.

Trip Cancellation – TravelSafe plans offer Trip Cancellation of your trip if your arrival on the trip is delayed and causes you to lose 50% or more of the scheduled trip duration due to the reasons covered under the Missed Connection benefit. Covered reasons can include if you are quarantined and it results in you losing 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration or if a common carrier (such as an airplane) delay results in you losing 50% or more of your scheduled trip duration. The dollar amount of coverage is determined by the amount of trip cost you insured on the plan.  Please read your plan documents for specific information.

This information is a general overview of coverages that may apply if travel plans are impacted by the coronavirus.  The coverage available for your trip will be based on the terms in your travel protection plan. Additional terms apply to all coverages discussed.  Additional coverages may be able to provide benefits. Please refer to your plan documents to learn more or contact TravelSafe with questions. Agents are available 24/7 and happy to help.

See the Italy4Real and Travel4Real Terms and Conditions here: https://italy4real.com/terms-conditions/

Ask your booking agent for a quote today!

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus in Italy?
  • You should take the same precautions in Italy that you would anywhere else:
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing or before eating.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Wear a mask if you suspect you are ill, or if you are assisting someone else who is ill.
  • Clean off surfaces with alcohol- or chlorine-based disinfectants.

Do not take any antibiotics or antiviral medication unless it’s been prescribed to you by a doctor.

You don’t need to worry about handling anything made or shipped from China, nor about catching coronavirus from (or giving it to) a pet.

 

A video from WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV with Dr Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organization

 


February 29, 2020

The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for Italy. At this time, CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Italy. Travelers should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus if they decide to travel to Italy.

Italy has extended its closures from March 2nd to March 7th, 2020

This is a very fluid situation and we expect to see rises and falls of this COVID-19 event in Italy. The incubation period of this illness is two weeks, so we fully expect this situation to be changing until the end of April, 2020. We recommend if you are traveling during this time, to re-book your travel for later in the year.

Have you booked your flights and are travelling before the end of April 2020?  You May be able to change your tickets with out a fee. We are also seeing hotels allow reservation date changes to later in the summer without penalty.

Here’s how each airline is handling travel waivers for passengers holding tickets on those and other routes.

United Airlines Logo

United: The airline has travel waivers in place for nine airports in northern Italy, including Milan and Venice. The Italy waivers cover passengers scheduled to travel through April 30.

 

American Airlines LogoAmerican: American has waivers in place for all destinations it serves in Italy, including Rome, which it added to the waiver on Feb. 28. The Italy waiver, which includes Florence, Milan, Venice and Naples among other cities, covers passengers with tickets for travel through March 15.

 

Delta: There are waivers in place for Italy. The Italy waiver, which covers travelers holding tickets for travel through March 15, now covers all Delta destinations in Italy. The waiver initially only covered northern Italy.

 

Tariro Mzezewa, a travel reporter for the New York Times, said the situation is still so fluid — so it’s impossible to predict what kind of travel advisories might exist weeks or months from now.

 

Italy President Sergio Mattarella

President Sergio Mattarella

President Sergio Mattarella on Friday warned against “irrational fears” in connection with the coronavirus emergency during a speech for the 30th anniversary of Telethon, a televised marathon to fund medical research on rare genetic diseases. “Knowledge helps responsibility and is a strong antidote to irrational and unmotivated fears that lead to unreasonable behavior without benefits, as has sometimes happened these days”, the president said.

 

 

Check this page often for updates.

Sources

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/italy-travel-advisory.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2020/02/25/coronavirus-travel-advisory-flights-cruises-hotels-info/4866634002/

https://cnn.it/2I34MJK

https://www.ansa.it/english/news/2020/02/28/coronavirus-mattarella-warns-against-irrational-fears_45ddf5b3-f03e-42b9-b3a3-50c0f9ffdc96.html


February 28, 2020

Reports of dramatic measures taken by authorities to control the spread of the coronavirus in northern Italy, including placing 11 towns under lockdown, have made headlines worldwide. But most of Italy remains unaffected by the outbreak, and little has changed for most people living in the country.

The only areas affected by emergency quarantine measures are those in the so-called “red zone”, the 11 small towns in Lombardy and Veneto which have been placed on lockdown for several weeks.

Elsewhere, many museums, tourist attractions, and businesses which had been temporarily shuttered have announced they’ll soon be reopening.

  • In Milan, the Duomo is set to reopen on Monday, with a new ticketing system aimed at managing crowds, after being temporarily closed to visitors this week.
  • Civic museums in the surrounding Lombardy region which had closed will also reopen on Monday, authorities confirmed.
  • The Italian government has urged tourists not to abandon their plans to visit Italy, insisting the country is safe to visit.
Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia.

Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia.

“Out of over 7,000 towns in Italy, just over a dozen are affected by this epidemic,” said Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday.

“I think schools can safely reopen from next Monday unless the scientific community tells us that we have an imminent danger,” said Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia.

Most of Italy’s major cities and tourist sites have been unaffected, with hotels, museums and businesses remaining open

In Rome, museums and tourist sites  have remained open this week, with the exception of the city’s catacombs

In Florence, all museums, tourist sites, restaurants and shops have remained open. In fact, the city has announced free entry to the city’s civic museums from March 6th-8th, an initiative aimed at reducing fear. Tuscany, which includes Florence, has reported a handful of confirmed cases, but is not among the worst-affected regions.

Southern Italian regions have seen only a handful of confirmed cases between them, and life is going on as normal in Naples, Bari, Palermo, and other towns and cities in the south of the country.

Popular tourist sites such as the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii are not affected.

Italy = Level 2 – No travel restriction but take enhanced precautions such as washing hands, not touching face.

If you have not protected your travel with travel insurance, please contact us immediately for a free quote. 

Source: https://www.thelocal.it/20200228/coronavirus-life-goes-on-as-normal-in-most-italian-regions-despite-outbreak


February 27, 2020

A message from a supplier in Tuscany: We want to reassure you that there is no reason to suspend the journeies of your clients to Italy because of coronavirus.
In Tuscany the situation is under control: two are just the cases of coronavirus and they have been adequatly treated.  All our activities take place regularly.


February 26, 2020

Fact: All the victims that have died were elderly and some had serious underlying health conditions. Our US flu is much more of a concern, so wash your hands frequently.

Fact: According to the World Health Organization more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus have mild disease and recover.

Fact: There is no government restriction or warning for travel to Italy

Fact: All flights in/out of Italy are running normally and are at normal capacity, except for the small airports located in the North.

Fact: the quarantine is scheduled to end on March 2nd, well before normal travel patterns begin.

Fact: The biotech firm Moderna announced Monday night that it had shipped vials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to the National Institutes of Health for human trials.

Fact: Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) announced on Wednesday that it’s advancing its development of an experimental vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus strain that continues to spread across the world.

Covid 19 warning

 

China (Level 3)
South Korea (Level 3)
Japan (Level 2)
Italy (Level 2)
Iran (Level 2)
Hong Kong (Level 1)

Italy = Level 2No travel restriction but take enhanced precautions such as washing hands, not touching face.

Level 2 (Italy)

  • Avoid sick people
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands
  • Wash your hands often

Unfortunately, the media both here in the USA and in Italy have portrayed World War Z and have people worried.

It is a story that is unfolding, and we are monitoring it both inside USA and from Italy. Our inside sources give us the latest information and we will bring you updates here as we understand more.

Do you remember the Venice flood coverage by the media? Venice was doomed and sinking! While it was a difficult short time; the reality on the ground was much different than the media portrayed. Sensational and shocking stories get views, it’s as simple as that.

This virus is classified as a flu; in fact the classic flu causes more harm and the Corona virus. Washing your hands regularly, not touching your face, are the precautionary steps that are being advised.

At of today, none of our tours or services are being affected past March and all of them are running as scheduled.

Recourses:

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

https://www.barrons.com/articles/moderna-stock-coronavirus-vaccine-human-trials-nih-51582645378

https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/02/26/novavax-plans-clinical-trial-coronavirus-vaccine.aspx

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-government-travel-warnings-for-coronavirus-outbreak-2020-2#the-cdc-has-issued-travel-guidance-for-six-countries-and-territories-because-of-the-coronavirus-2


February 24, 2020

We have all read and seen the news about the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy. We are here to guide you and give you realistic information as we understand it and how it may affect your trip.  As of Feb 24th, the affected areas are 40 miles outside of Milan and the Veneto region above Italy.

Italy is a country of 60 million people and this is a very small number of people who have been involved with this current incident.

News headlines like “Italy on lockdown” (NBC, Today Show) illustrates how our media goes for the shock factor because in reality it affects only areas north of Milan and Venice for the next two weeks.  Today in Milan there was little evidence of any issues other than the closing of the Duomo.

These measures are in affect only until March 2, 2020 and are completely precautionary as well as the early finish of the Venice  Today, according to NBC; flights from the UK to Italy were not delayed and screening was not in place.

Italy banned flights from China last month.  Today there is no affect on sights in Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Tuscany or other popular areas of Italy

We want to let you know your options and give you some resources for further information and we will monitor this daily.

The US State Department has NOT issued a travel warning for Italy, only to the affected areas outside Milan and Venice.

Fact: the normal Flu is much more deadly and poses more threat than coronavirus, please get your flu shot today!

Should I cancel my trip because of this?   At this point no, but we recommend all travelers get travel insurance.