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Worldwide travel advisory for Italy: Avoid all travel to Italy due to the spread of the Coronavirus and limited movement within the country. The Prime Minister announced a complete lockdown of the country on Monday March 9th, 2020. 

The CDC has issued a level three warning:  Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Community Transmission

  • Italy is experiencing widespread community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.
  • Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.
  • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.
  • Travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.
  • Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.

Italy has been put under a dramatic total lockdown, as the coronavirus spreads in the country. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that he is extending restrictions already in place in the north.

“All the measure of the red zones are now extended to all of the national territory,” Conte said at a press conference on Monday evening, also announcing a ban on all public events.
Prison riots do not travel to italy

The Prime Minister said the move was taken in order to protect the population, and especially the most fragile individuals. His announcement came at the end of a chaotic day that saw prison riots across the country.

Ninety-seven people have died of the novel coronavirus since Sunday in Italy, bringing its total number of deaths to 463. The country has 9,172 cases so far, the most of any European country.

Over the weekend, blanket travel restrictions had been announced in just certain areas of Italy's north. The rest of the country will now join the northern provinces under lockdown — one of the toughest responses implemented outside of mainland China to get the Covid-19 epidemic under control.
 
The coordinator for intensive care in the crisis unit for the northern Lombardy region told CNN that Lombardy's health care system was “one step from collapse” despite efforts to free up hospital beds.
“We are now being forced to set up intensive care treatment in corridors,” Antonio Pesenti said. “We've emptied entire hospital sections to make space for seriously sick people.”
 
He described seeing “a tsunami of patients,” adding that there could be 18,000 patients in hospital by the end of the month if the virus continues to spread.
trump suspends all travel to and from the us to erope
Hospitals are full in Italy (Image: The Independent)

Quarantine zone stretches across country

There have been more than 108,000 confirmed cases and 3,821 deaths related to the novel coronavirus worldwide. Despite signs of improvement in Asia — with China and South Korea recording a slowdown in the number of new cases — the situation in Europe and North America appears to be worsening.

Under the initial lockdown rules, schools, universities, theaters, cinemas, bars, and nightclubs were closed in Italy's north. Religious ceremonies, including funerals and weddings, and sporting events were suspended or postponed. Restaurants and bars were allowed to be open from 6am to 6pm, and malls and markets could open on weekdays if they could assure a meter (three feet) of distance between each client.

“This is of the utmost importance not only from a healthcare point of view but also economically. A temporary downturn in some sectors or areas of the country is preferable to a longer crisis that could spread to the whole economy via demand and supply effects,” the original statement read.

Hotel worker Alice Baldisserri, 38, told CNN that “Milan's hotels are empty, so the jobs are at risk.” Baldisserri said Italy's tourism industry had been “hit the hardest” by the outbreak.
 
The restrictions could take a toll on Italy's already fragile economy. Italian tourism representatives warned last month that 200 million euros ($260 million) in bookings had been canceled since the outbreak was first announced.
The Italian government is preparing measures to support workers and firms across the country, particularly in sectors and areas most affected by the outbreak to try to prevent “lasting damage to the supply side of the Italian economy and permanent employment losses.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on “all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus.”
 
In a statement, the WHO said: “Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.”

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Source: CNN/WHO



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