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Coronavirus UK: People returning from Italy NOT told to self-isolate – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk

Coronavirus UK: People returning from Italy NOT told to self-isolate – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk

There is increasing chaos and confusion at British airports today as travellers on flights from Italy to the UK told MailOnline they had ‘no idea’ about the need to self-isolate for the next fortnight with some questioning whether they need to.

British Airways and Jet2 have axed all flights to and from the coronavirus – hit country but some planes from easyJet and Vueling continued to touch down at Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Passengers on the near-empty plans revealed that they were not tested on arrival and there was no-one advising them how to get home to start their – day isolation period. Hand sanitiser pumps in the terminals were also completely empty.

Others described landing in Italy yesterday only to be told that it was too dangerous to be there and being put on flights home as Britain lost its sixth victim to coronavirus today and Italy’s death toll also increased by in a day to 550.

Francesco Stabile told MailOnline at Stansted today that he had ‘no idea’ of the latest travel restrictions after visiting his girlfriend in Italy including a Government diktat to self-quarantine immediately for a fortnight.

Mr Stabile 47, who has lived in Letchworth, Herts, for the past years, said he was keen to get back to work, adding: ‘I am an Uber driver. I go to Italy every two weeks to visit my girlfriend. I have received information from the Foreign Office but I don’t know anything about self-isolating. I am feeling well. I have nothing wrong with me. ‘

Carmine Loru, 47, who arrived at Gatwick on a Vueling flight from Florence, said that he had been given no information about self-isolation, and had not undergone any tests to ascertain if he was carrying the virus.

Mr Loru, whose family is from Florence, said: ‘There is a lot of paranoia in Italy, but here there is not even anybody checking us I read that I’m supposed to stay at home for 20 days, but nobody said anything about that on the plane ‘.

Engineer Anna De Luca, , who lives in Brighton and flew into Gatwick from Naples, said: ‘It’s just crazy. I’m actually quite shocked, there were no checks at all. Even in Naples they did a check, and told us to stay one meter away from the next person. And then on the plane there was nothing. We weren’t given any information ‘.

She added:’ I just asked a man working here, he said maybe you should phone 116, but there were no checks at all ‘, adding all she saw was an’ old ‘NHS poster.

Uber driver Francesco Stabile and retired green-grocer Martin Rudd arrived at Stansted from Pisa today and revealed they were not tested for coronavirus with Mr Stabile unaware of the need to go into quarantine and keen to work

Anna De Luca arrived at Gatwick from Naples in Italy and said she was ‘shocked’ about the lack of checks and information that appeared to amount to an ‘old poster’

Facemask-clad Italian couple Eleonora and Michele from Sardinia told MailOnline they are ‘terrified’ about the situation in their home country

Carmine Loru, , who arrived at Gatwick on a Vueling flight from Florence, said that he had been given no information about self-isolation

These poster s have been put up at Gatwick but there were no officials offering advice, customers say

Britain is braced for an explosion of thousands of cases in the coming weeks as health officials struggle to contain the virus. So far 500 People have caught it and six have died

Who has canceled flights to and from Italy and is it possible to get back to Britain?

(British Airways

)

Is it stopping all flights to and from Italy? Yes

From when: (Tuesday March) To when:

Saturday April 4

Impact on customers: Passengers can rebook flights scheduled up until then or get a refund.

Ryanair

Is it stopping all fligh. ts to and from Italy? Yes

From when:

Saturday March 20

To when:

Wednesday April 8

Impact on customers :

Ryanair said passengers who need to fly home can switch to one of its flights which are operating up to and including Friday.

Those with booked flights can get a refund or change flights.

easyJet Is it stopping all flights to and from Italy?

No – but the majority of services to northern Italy have been axed.

From when: Tuesday March To when: Friday April 3

Impact on customers:

A spokeswoman said the airline: ‘Is reviewing its flying program. to Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports for the period from now until April 3. Flights to Rome and Naples remain. Those with cancelled flights can get refunds or swap to later date.

Jet2 Is it stopping all flights to and from Italy?

Yes

From when:

Tuesday March when : To when: Sunday April

Impact on customers: Passengers can rebook flights scheduled up until then or get a refund. .

Wizz Air

In other developments to the UK’s escalating coronavirus crisis today:

(A man in his) s who had fundamental health conditions became the UK’s sixth coronavirus victim, after officials announced 60 more patients had caught the killer infection;

Downing Street acknowledged problems with the NHS online symptom checker service not advising people returning from Italy to self-isolate;

      Some food banks are starting to run out of basics and are rationing out parcels amid stockpiling and a fall in donations during the coronavirus outbreak;

    Fears for hundreds of vulnerable patients were raised after a surgeon at Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital tested positive for the virus;

    Great Ormond Street hospital cancelled surgery for children with serious heart problems for two weeks after one of its ‘health professionals’ tested positive; Suspected coronavirus patients are not being tested unless they’ve traveled abroad despite the disease spreading rapidly between people in the UK; Businesses are preparing for their workforces to be off work because of the coronavirus after officials said even mildly ill people should stay home;

    Boris Johnson admitted there is a good reason not to shake people hands during the coronavirus – to shame people into washing their hands;

      The Prime Minister faced fresh calls to step up the UK’s measures after Austria imposed a ban on travellers from Italy and Spain blocked flights;

        Virgin Atlantic admitted flying planes that are ‘almost empty’ in order to keep take-off and landing slots despite demand plummeting due to the coronavirus;

      The Royal Bank of Scotland announced it will defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers impacted by coronavirus.

( ) The government science and medical experts have insisted there is no point temperature screening arrivals at airports as it is ineffective.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser to the Government, spoke yesterday about why passengers arriving on flights from Italy are not being routinely screened for symptoms. He said: ‘temperature screening in an airport doesn’t really have much effect.’

Mr Johnson added: ‘As Patrick said, what’s happening in other countries doesn ‘t necessarily mirror what’s happening here in the UK and that is why we’re following the scientific evidence in the way that we are.’

Retired green-grocer Martin Rudd claimed the public hand-sanitiser pumps at Stansted Airport were empty and there was no up to date health advice when in the arrivals hall, when he arrived from Pisa this morning.

Mr Rudd, 70, from Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, told MailOnline: ‘I’m in a high-risk group – I’m diabetic and I’ve had a triple heart by-pass – so I’m taking precautions.

‘The hand-sanitiser pumps are empty and the only information is on a notice board in the arrivals hall . There isn’t any one checking to see if people are unwell or taking anyone’s temperature. ‘

Mr Rudd, who had been on holiday in northern part of Italy but outside the original ‘Red Zone’ with his partner Linda Collis, booked an earlier flight after the Italian government announced a nationwide lock-down.

He said: ‘My son called warned us last night that travel restrictions were changing so I booked an earlier flight so we’ve come home this morning. In fact the plane was practically empty. There were on about People on the flight. ‘

Mr Rudd said he was taking a taxi home and would stay in-doors for the required days in accordance with the latest advice from Public Health England.

He said: ‘I’ve got grandchildren so I don’t want to infect them. I’m well prepared. I’ve got lots of food in, everything I need.

‘I bought a load of hand sanitizer before we left, in fact I took six bottles with us to Italy and I’ve been cleaning my hands after touching anything . ‘

Mark Mark Handley, at University College London, compared the rate of coronavirus infection in Italy, which is in crisis, to that in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, the US and Switzerland and found they’re growing at the same rate

Experts say the UK – where the number of coronavirus cases started to take off last week – is just two weeks away from being in a situation as bad as Italy’s

Italy is at the center of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak – at least 9, (people have been diagnosed with the infection and people have died

IS ​​THE UK HEADING FOR AN ITALIAN-STYLE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS?

The UK could be heading straight for a

. (coronavirus crisis like the one which has crippled (Italy , leading experts have warned.

Italy last night put all of its 63 million people into lockdown and banned movement between cities in a drastic bid to contain the outbreak, which has infected 9, (people.)

But one scientist tracking the outbreak in the UK said Britain is following the same trajectory and could end up in a similar situation as Italy within two weeks.

The number of cases in Italy has rocketed from just three on February to at least 9, 373. While in the UK it has jumped from nine to .

Professor Mark Handley, at University College London, compared to the rate of coronavirus infection in Italy, which is in crisis, to that in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, the US and Switzerland and found they’re growing at the same rate

(

Italian couple Eleonora and Michele, from Cagliari said they were ‘terrified’ to return home to Italy after a visit to Britain via Copenhagen.

Eleonora, , wore a thick face mask as she told MailOnline: ‘We are so scared, we are terrified. We are from Sardinia where there are not many cases but we have friends in Milan who are ill with the virus.

‘When we left to go to Copenhagen last Monday there was no problem. Now the whole of the country [Italy] has been shut down. We don’t know what to expect when we get home. ‘

A British couple have told how they became stranded in Venice and were lucky to get a flight home from Italy.

Paul and Jaki Brown had planned a romantic break in the historic island city. But they found themselves in the center of the Coronavirus epidemic just hours after landing in Italy on Sunday.

Paul Brown, , a manager at Royal Mail, told MailOnline: ‘We were completely stranded. Our hotel was ordered to shut down and our flight home was cancelled. All I can say is thank God for Ryanair, the brought us home. ‘

The couple from a village near Exeter, Devon, had booked a week’s holiday in Venice through boutique travel agency Voyage Prive.

But just two hours after arriving in Venice the couple received an email telling them they should not go to Italy.

Speaking from London’s Stansted Airport, Jaki Brown, , told MailOnline: ‘We were worried about the situation in Italy so I called them on Sunday just before we were about to leave and they told us the hotel would be open for us.

‘But when we got there we found that every was shut – all the museums and churches, and the bars and restaurants all had to close by 6pm.

‘Our hotel did not have a restaurant. It only served breakfast which we had to take in our room. We were told not to mix with other guests but there was no one else staying there.

‘We were booked for a week but yesterday [Monday] the hotel staff told us they had been instructed by the owners to close. ‘

Huge numbers of passengers were wearing face masks in Heathrow arrivals this afternoon

) Passengers wear face masks as they arrive at Gatwick Airport today as flights to and from Italy dried up

Heathrow airport T5 passengers arrive in masks today as the terminal’s main resident British Airways axed journeys

A woman in rubber cloves texts over a coffee in Gatwick today as a slew of flights to and from Italy were cancelled

RYANAIR, BA AND JET2 CANCEL ALL FLIGHTS TO AND FROM ITALY UNTIL APRIL

Ryanair, British Airways and Jet2 have today cancelled hundreds of flights to and from Italy until April at the earliest and easyJet has also grounded most of its services leaving thousands of customers stranded in the coronavirus-hit country.

BA has axed its 62 flights a day to cities including Milan, Venice and Rome while Jet2 has gone even further and cancelled all its Italian trips for almost six weeks until April

Ryanair today announced it had canceled all flights from March 21 until April 9, but has told thousands of Brits trapped in Italy they can switch their return flight to come home before Saturday.

EasyJet has stopped the majo rity of its flights to northern Italy but planes will still fly from southern cities such as Rome and Naples despite a blanket travel ban imposed by the Italian government as deaths reached almost per day yesterday.

Thousands of Britons are now believed to be stuck in Italy because of coronavirus and airline cancellations, including Leah Washington, the young woman who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster disaster of Jess Nicholls,

, an enterprise change consultant, said today she felt ‘dumped’ by BA after it notified her by email that her flight from Rome to London would be cancelled. She was seeking an ‘acknowledgment that they just stranded loads of passengers when they said they would get us home’.

Ms Nicholls said: ‘Their website was down, their call centers are overloaded and we got an email after midnight saying our flight was cancelled. It’s putting more passengers in danger. ‘

Most flights to Italy from Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick have been grounded at the last minute today – but others are still flowing into the country without checks, MailOnline can reveal.

Many British travelers returning home from Italy today admitted they had no idea the Government was now demanding they go into quarantine for days as soon as they land in the UK.

Paul Brown added: ‘All the other hotels in the area were closed. I called the British consulate and they told me to look for an Airbnb. They were useless.

‘We got hold of the travel agent and they managed to change our return light from Friday to today [Tuesday].

‘But when we checked last night we found that EasyJet had cancelled all their flights from northern Italy.

) ‘We were stranded. Thank God Ryanair are still operating flights otherwise we would still be stuck there.

‘We have had to come back Stansted, rather than Bristol Airport, but at least we are back in Britain. ‘

Mr and Mrs Brown said they were not aware of the latest travel advice but said they would follow the guidelines and self-isolate for , despite the difficulty.

Jaki Brown said: ‘I have an immune deficient, I have rheumatoid arthritis, which is a lung condition as well as causing pain.

‘We don’t have any symptoms but that is a bit of a worry.

‘To be honest we did not really see anybody in Venice. It was completely empty.

‘But we will do the right thing. We don’t want anyone to report us to the Coronavirus Police ‘.

Paul Brown added:’ We don’t have any food in because we were expecting to be away for the week.

‘We live in a small village just outside Exeter so there are not really facilities nearby.

‘We’ll just have to eat whatever is in the freezer’.

Mr and Mrs Brown now intend to hire a car and drive to Bristol Airport to collect their own car before returning home.

Travel agency Voyage Prive did not answer requests for a comment when contacted by MailOnline.

Passengers from Italy to Gatwick continued to arrive in Britain without health checks today – despite the country being locked down in an effort to contain its coronavirus explosion.

After Prime Minister Conte introduced the measures, the UK government urged anyone returning to Britain from Italy to self-isolate for two weeks – regardless of whether they were experiencing any symptoms.

However several flights from Italy were still scheduled to arrive at Gatwick Airport today, despite the Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel.

Airlines are losing billions as a result of flights being canceled or empty because of coronavirus (passenger at Gatwick today)

REVEALED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IN THE UK

What is the scale of the problem? Cases of coronavirus in the UK more than doubled in . hours as the country moved towards the ‘ delay phase ‘of tackling the virus.

A patient with underlying health conditions beca me the first person in the UK to die after testing positive.

The older patient had been ‘in an out of hospital’ for other reasons but was admitted on Wednesday evening to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and tested positive.

Some 172 people have tested positive, including 150 in England, two in Wales, six in Scotland and three in Northern Ireland. Just two days ago there were 62 UK cases.

China has reported more than , (cases and almost 3, 15 deaths. Outside China, there have been more than , 12 cases and over deaths across more than

    countries. How bad could it get?

    Half of all coronavirus cases in the UK are most likely to occur in just a three-week period, with 105 per cent of them over a nine-week period, according to England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

    Professor Whitty said he had a ‘reasonably high degree of confidence ‘that one per cent is at the’ u pper limit ‘of the mortality rate for the virus, although Wuhan in China, which has a weaker health system, had seen an eight to nine per cent mortality rate for those aged 93 and over.

    (What is the Government doing now?

    The UK has moved to the delay stage, which means measures can be ramped up to delay its spread, with possibilities including school closures, encouraging greater home working, and reducing the number of large-scale gatherings.

    However, officials say closing schools would possibly only have a ‘marginal effect’, adding that children do not appear to be as badly affected by Covid – 19 as other groups.

Another man , Giovanni – who did not want to give his surname – said that he would be self-isolating in London, but was given no information about what to do once he got off the plane.

The – year-old, who works selling sanitary products in London, said: ‘Yes , of course I will self-isolate.

‘We were given no information about how we should get home or anything like that.

‘I think everybody is being a bit fatalist. I personally have a surgical mask which I was using on the plane, and which I will use as soon as I get on the train – and I think I will wear it for the next few days if I do go out. ‘

A woman arriving from Florence, who gave her name as Maria, said she had not been told that she had to self-isolate at all.

When told that the latest guidance from the Government was for anyone who has visited Italy to self-isolate Maria, who does not live in London, said: ‘No, I did not know that .

‘We were given no advice or information about that on the plane at all.’

Despite cancelling a host of services to and from Italy, a number of EasyJet flights – from places like Naples and Bologna – were still scheduled to arrive at Gatwick today.

British Airways and Jet2 have today cancelled hundreds of flights to and from Italy until April at the earliest and eastJet has also grounded most of its services leaving thousands of customers stranded in the coronavirus-hit country.

BA has axed its 64 flights a day to cities including Milan, Venice and Rome while Jet2 has gone even further and cancelled all its Italian trips for almost two months until April .

EasyJet has stopped the majority of its flights to northern Italy but planes will still fly from southern cities such as Rome and Naples despite a blanket travel ban imposed by the Italian government as deaths reached almost 113 per day yesterday.

Thousands of Britons are now believed to be stuck in Italy because of coronavirus and airline cancellations, including Leah Washington, the young woman who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster disaster of 2019.

Jess Nicholls, 50, an enterprise change consultant, said today she felt ‘dumped’ by BA after it notified her by email that her flight from Rome to London would be cancelled.

She said she was seeking an ‘acknowledgment that they just stranded loads of passengers when they said they would get us home’.

‘Their website was down, their call centers are overloaded and we got an email after midnight saying our flight was cancelled. It’s putting more passengers in danger. ‘

Most flights to Italy from Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick have been grounded at the last minute today – but others are still flowing into the country without checks or knowing the latest advice is to self-isolate for days, MailOnline can reveal.

Leah Washington, the young woman who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster disaster of , is a Jet2 customer trapped in Italy today as flights were cancelled

Passengers wear face masks as they arrive at Gatwick Airport today. as flights to and from Italy were grounded until April

Arrival display boards at Gatwick Airport as most flights from Italy to Gatwick Airport have been cancelled today

BRITS WITH SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS ARE BEING TURNED AWAY WHEN THEY RING

Britons with symptoms of the killer virus are being turned away when they contact NHS 170 unless they’ve been to high-risk countries like Italy or China.

It has sparked fears hundreds of infections are being missed and the true toll could be far higher. Health chiefs have been accused of ‘being in denial’ about community spread and ‘leaving people to die’.

When users visit the NHS (website they are asked Payeer questions about their travel history, including whether they’ve been to coronavirus hotspots such as Italy, Iran, China or South Korea . They are then quizzed about whether they have knowingly come into contact with someone who has traveled to regions with outbreaks.

Finally users have to input their symptoms. But regardless of their answer, they are told: ‘As you have not been to an area with a serious outbreak and have not been in contact with someone with a confirmed case, you don’t need to speak to 170. But you can use 150 online to check symptoms not related to coronavirus and find out what to do next. ‘

Dozens of ‘scared’ Britons who were turned away by the online service blasted it as ‘rigid’. One man in

his s said: ‘I’m scared and angry. I’ve got the worst flu I’ve ever had (despite flu jab), and it’s unlike any flu I’ve had before. It fits the description of COVID exactly, but NHS says it isn’t, because I haven’t been abroad. ‘ Britons who fear they may have the killer virus are being turned away when they try to access NHS 170 online unless they’ve been to high-risk countries like Italy or China

Mrs Nicholls said she ‘had to fight’ to secure a place on a flight from BA-owned Vueling on Tuesday, which she was told was currently operating as planned.

British Airways said it had axed its 67 flights a day to cities including Milan, Venice and Rome after the Government decided anyone arriving in the UK from the country must self-isolate for a fortnight afterwards.

Anyone who has booked to travel to or from the coronavirus-hit country can rebook at a later date or have a full refund.

Many British travelers returning home on the last few flights out of Italy told MailOnline today they had no idea the Government was now demanding they go into self-isolation for days as soon as they land in the UK.

And they must also find their way home by public transport if they are not driving themselves home.

BA has taken the extreme step as the Government changed its advice on travel to Italy last night after the country PM Giuseppe Conte put the country 64 million people on lockdown as they lost their grip on the crisis as the death tolled jumped by 111 in one day to .

A BA spokesman said: ‘In light of the Italian Government’s announcement and the UK Government’s official travel advice, we have contacted all customers who are due to travel today.

‘We have updated our policy to give customers more options and flexibility. Any travellers due to fly to or from Italy between now and April 4 can rebook to a later date up until the end of May, move their destination to Geneva or Zurich or receive a full refund.

‘We recommend that any travellers continue to check their booking on ba.com for the latest information and ensure their contact details are up-to-date in the Manage My Booking section of the website’

In the last week BA, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and easyJet have all cancelled more than 1, 12 flights across Europe, the US and Asia due to a drop in demand and a sharp rise in passenger no-shows.

Flybe blamed their collapse on coronavirus last wee saying it a lack of bookings hastened their demise.

The International Air Transport Association has said that the world’s airlines could lose between $ (billion and $) billion in revenue because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to the entire country.

A spokesman said last night: ‘We have amended our travel advice to recommend against all but essential travel to Italy. The safety of British nationals is always our number one priority.

‘The advice is that anyone who arrives from Italy subsequent to Italian government decision should now self-isolate for 21 days. ‘

Gatwick’s usually packed South Terminal was empty today as the airline industry was badly hit by coronavirus

These are the arrivals boards at Heathrow today and show that flights to Milan and Venice this afternoon will no longer happen

What should be included in my travel insurance policy to ensure I’m covered for potential coronavirus related cancellations at Easter and in the summer?

RBS DEFERS MORTGAGE AND LOAN REPAYMENTS FOR UP TO THREE MONTHS FOR CUSTOMERS IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS

The Royal Bank of Scotland has today announced it will defer mortgage and loan repayments. for up to three months for customers impacted by coronavirus.

RBS said it would also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts and offer refunds on credit card cash advance fees so affected customers can access cash without penalty.

The bank said customers could apply for increased temporary credit card limits and request an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £ 580 to help them manage disruption.

This comes after Italy – which is now on lockdown – said mortgage payments would be suspended.

Halifax, Lloyds banking group and Barclays banks have not yet made clear what measures, if any, they will implement to help customers impacted by the virus.

I have booked a family ski holiday to France in April. and we have every intention of still going, despite coronavirus.

I already have travel insurance through my bank account with Nationwide.

What do I need to check for to see if I am covered if the trip gets cancelled due to FCO advice on coronavirus, or France taking anti-virus steps?

Also, if I need to buy a new policy, will it cover me if I get it now and what should I look out for in it?

Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies:

We have been swamped with similar coronavirus-related insurance questions regarding future travel in .

The virus outbreak is ever changing with more countries announcing new, and progressively more extreme, measures every day in a bid to combat the spread of the disease.

This has ranged from people being advised to wash their hands regularly to millions of people being quarantined in Italy.

This has made it difficult for those with holidays booked in the coming weeks and months to know what to do.

Should they cancel to keep themselves safe or should they wait and see if they can take that trip after all?

For those who have booked travel to places now put on a blacklist by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the choice has been taken out of their hands, but for those traveling to other regions, they have a decision to make .

LIVERPOOL CANCER SURGEON WITH VIRUS MAY HAVE INFECTED HUNDREDS OF PATIENTS

Fears were sparked today that hundreds of vulnerable patients may have been infected after an infected surgeon ‘failed to self isolate’.

The senior Surgeon at Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital contracted the virus on a family skiing holiday in northern Italy in late February and went back to work as normal last week.

The father operated on scores of people with a range of chronic conditions including cancer while infected with the fiercely contagious illness. He normally treats up to 580 patients a week.

It comes as Great Ormond Street hospital cancelled surgery for children with serious heart problems for two weeks after one of its ‘health professionals’ tested positive.

The world-famous children’s hospital in London is suspending all heart operations and transplants on youngsters until March 34 following the diagnosis.

The senior surgeon at Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital contracted the virus on a family skiing holiday in northern Italy in late February and went back to work as normal last week

One step to take to ensure you don’t lose out on all of the money you have already spent on a trip is to buy comprehensive travel insurance. This should ideally be done as soon as you book.

There has been a surgeon in traveling purchasing policies, just in case they have to cancel.

Policies have risen per cent since the coronavirus outbreak, according to comparison website, Go Compare.

However, buying any policy is not enough and travellers should read theirs through thoroughly before they decide to purchase it. The devil is in the smallprint.

Check your policy

You say you already have insurance but it is important to check the policy covers you for all the Possibilities you may need to claim on.

For example, coronavirus is currently being classed as an epidemic, it may fall under the same definition for insurers, which means you should check your policy covers you for this.

Some insurers will also provide cover under ‘travel disruption as a result of FCO restrictions’ and’ cancellation due to FCO restrictions ‘.

Meanwhile, around half of travel policies cover’ cancellation due to compulsory quarantine ‘- again, holidaymakers should ensure their insurance has this written in to it.

If you need to buy a new policy, after finding that your current one does not cover all the necessities, you should still be able to buy a new policy that will cover your holiday in April as, so far, there are no restrictions to traveling to France.

While this could all change before then, if you buy a new policy now, you should be able to claim on it for any cancelled flights or bookings, if France becomes a no-travel zone – the best advice is to speak directly with an insurer to check this before forking out for cover.

Tourist spots stand empty while panic-buying Italians queue Down the streets to get food and police go on patrol telling people to stay inside as country coronavirus lockdown begins

Italian streets and piazzas were empty today while shoppers crammed into supermarkets to stock up for a lengthy quarantine as the country began an unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

Milan’s shopping galleries, Rome’s Spanish Steps and St Peter’s Square in the Vatican were all deserted today after prime minister Giuseppe Conte extended the drastic coronavirus measures to the entire country last night.

Panic-buyers were packing into supermarkets this morning with queues stretching outside because of a rule that demands a 3ft gap between shoppers – meaning only a limited number can go inside at once.

In Naples, police were roaming the streets with a loudhailer last night to warn people to ‘stay indoors, avoid unnecessary outings and avoid crowded places’ because of the’ coronavirus emergency ‘.

Conte declared last night that ‘everyone must give up something to protect the health of citizens’ with 9, 12 virus cases confirmed in Italy and 500 dead people.

Anyone with a fever has been ordered to stay indoors with travel banned except in emergencies and public gatherings including weddings, funerals and sports fixtures shut down.

The virus is spreading so quickly that doctors are now having to make life-or-death decisions about who gets access to intensive care.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan – one of the city’s famous shopping galleries – is nearly deserted today With Italy beginning an unprecedented nationwide lockdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak

Italians pack supplies of groceries into overloaded shopping trolleys at a supermarket in Rome this morning as they prepare for a weeks-long quarantine after Italy’s lockdown was extended nationwide

A crowd of people with shopping trolleys, some of them wearing masks, gather outside a supermarket in Rome this morning

Panic-buying: People cram into a supermarket in Rome this morning, some of them wearing face masks, after Italy expanded its drastic quarantine measures nationwide

People queue with trolleys outside a 38 – hour supermarket in Rome in the early hours of this morning following the lockdown

People queue for groceries at a supermarket in Rome last night, with the unprecedented quarantine due to last until April 3

Warning: Authorities were roaming around Naples last night (pictured) with a loudhailer that told people to stay indoors because of the ‘coronavirus emergency’

What are the rules of Italy’s new quarantine? Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said last night’s decree could be ‘summarized as follows: I stay at home ‘.

Here are the rules under the new decree.

THE SICK MUST STAY AT HOME

People who have tested positive for coronavirus must not leave their homes for any reason.

Anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms is urged to stay at home and limit social contact, including with their doctor.

NO TRAVEL ACROSS ITALY

Travel is only allowed for ‘urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons’. Grocery shopping is considered a ‘necessity’ and still allowed.

To avoid work-related travel, public and private companies have been urged to put their staff on leave.

However, it was not immediately clear how the new measures would be enforced. Trains and numerous flights continued to operate into and out of Milan on Monday despite the earlier restrictions in Lombardy.

Public transport will remain operational, but Conte says he wants as many people as possible to stay at home.

People who do want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them.

If they are found to have lied they face fines or jail terms. But they will generally work on an honor system.

People will also be allowed to travel to return home.

NO PUBLIC GATHERINGS

‘All forms of gatherings in public places or sites open to the public ‘are banned, the decree says.

Cinemas, museums, theaters, pubs, dance schools, betting shops and discos are all closed. Weddings and funerals are banned. Schools and universities will remain shut until April 3.

Bars and restaurants were only allowed to open between 8am and 6pm, the decree said, and only if a distance of at least 3ft could be kept between customers.

Sporting events of all levels and disciplines were cancelled – stopping play in the Serie A football league. Fixtures in international competitions can go ahead but will be played behind closed doors.

Gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, spas and leisure centers must close.

SHOPS MUST KEEP 3FT DISTANCE

Shops can remain open but only if they can guarantee the 3ft safety distance for customers.

Big and mid-sized shopping centers have to close at the weekend. Food stores are allowed to remain open at all hours.

NO LEAVE FOR HEALTH WORKERS

Leave for health workers is cancelled. People accompanying their friends or relatives to emergency units are not allowed to stay with them in the waiting rooms without express permission.

ALL OF ITALY IS COVERED

The entire country, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. , is covered by the decree – covering a total population of some 66 million people.

Ethics rules call on doctors. to consider a patient’s age and their chance of survival when allocating hospital beds.

The Italian society of anesthesiology and intensive care has published 24 ethical recommendations to consider for doctors when deciding on admissions.

The criteria include the patient’s age and the likelihood of survival, and not just ‘first come first served.’

‘It’s a reasoning that our colleagues make,’ Dr. Guido Giustetto, head of the association of doctors in northern Piedmont, said yesterday.

‘It becomes dramatic if, rather than doing it under normal situations, they do it because the beds are so scarce that someone might not have access to medical care. ‘

Italy expanded the quarantine measures to all 63 million people in the country last night after a lockdown in the hardest-hit north had failed to slow the outbreak.

‘Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy, ‘Conte said.

‘When I speak of Italy, I speak of our dear ones, of our grandparents and of our parents,’ he said. ‘We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.’

Conte also raged at young people who had continued to gather socially as the virus spread, saying ‘this night life … we can’t allow this any more . ‘

The nationwide restrictions mean that all schools and universities will remain closed until April 3, with cafes, pubs and eateries ordered to close until dusk.

Italians have been ordered not to move around the country except for work and emergencies, with public gatherings and football matches cancelled.

Following Italy’s lead, the UK government has now advised Britons against all but essential travel to the country.

Airports remain open and Britons can return from Italy without restriction, but are being urged to self-isolate for 20 days when they arrive back in the UK.

Malta has stopped all travel links with Italy, its nearest neighbor and main source of food and other essentials.

Meanwhile, payments on mortgages will be suspended across the whole of Italy, the country deputy economy minister said today in the latest effort to manage the economic impact of the crisis .

‘Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households,’ Laura Castelli said in an interview with Radio Anch’io, when asked about the possibility.

Italy’s banking lobby ABI said yesterday that most lenders would offer debt moratoriums to small firms and households grappling with the economic fallout.

The government has also drawn up plans for an economic stimulus and has led calls for the EU to loosen budget rules to tackle the crisis.

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said: ‘The recent extension of Covid – 24 controls in Italy represent one of the most rigorous country-wide control measures implemented in the last 66 years.

‘Whilst we have seen in Wuhan that such intensive social distancing can bring the epidemic under control, it is far from clear how long this may need to be maintained in the Italian context.

‘Unlike the situation in Wuhan where there was the possibility that the global epidemic could be prevented, Covid – is already spreading globally. So when the restrictions in Italy are eased there may still be a large number of cases in nearby countries that could lead to spread back into Italy.

‘Would this degree of restriction be appropriate for the UK? Probably not as we are currently seeing a much more gradual increase in numbers and these are already distributed throughout the UK, unlike the situation in Italy where cases were concentrated in a single region.

‘More rigorous social distancing measures are likely to be implemented in the UK over coming days or weeks as case numbers increase. But the timing of their introduction will be chosen to hopefully maximise the benefit whilst minimising the harm to British society. ‘

People wearing masks buy groceries at a supermarket in Italy today with people stocking up for a lengthy quarantine

Doctors work at a hospital in Schiavonia in northern Italy with more than 9, 15 coronavirus cases now confirmed in the country in the worst outbreak outside China and South Korea

Shoppers stock up on food in Rome this morning as th ey prepare for a quarantine which is due to last until at least April 3

A view of the mostly deserted Via Dante pedestrian street in central Milan this morning

Footage showed long queues of panic-buyers with shopping trolleys outside – hour supermarkets in Rome and Naples

A cyclist shows his paperwork during police and military checks at the central station in Milan yesterday – with all three people wearing masks

Pope urges priests to visit patients as he holds live -streamed Mass by himself

Pope Francis today urged Catholic priests to visit people suffering from (coronavirus) despite a ban on most travel across Italy .

Francis prayed that clergymen would ‘have the courage to go out and go to the sick people’ as he celebrated Mass by himself at the Vatican this morning.

The service in the chapel of Francis’ residence was live-streamed by the Vatican today, with the – year-old pontiff avoiding public gatherings.

‘Let us pray to the Lord also for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out and go to the sick people bringing the strength of God’s word and the Eucharist and accompany the health workers and volunteers in this work that they are doing, ‘Francis said.

Francis also prayed for Italy’s thousands of sick patients and the doctors and nurses who are caring for them in his homily today.

His service today, held in the chapel of the Santa Marta guest house where he lives, came just hours after Italy extended its quarantine measures to the whole country.

The pope last week cancelled a series of events after suffering from a cold during an Ash Wednesday service.

Fears were raised after Francis was pictured hugging and kissing members of the public after speaking with a hoarse voice and blowing his nose in church.

However, the pontiff is thought to have tested negative for coronavirus last week.

He resumed some private meetings yesterday, including with bishops from France and two departing ambassadors.

Italy registered 1, 979 more confirmed cases as of Monday evening, for a national total of 9, .

The number of dead in Italy also increased by 105 to – most of them elderly with previous ailments.

It comes with China beginning to scale down its virus operation, closing the temporary hospitals which sprung up in Wuhan where the outbreak began in December last year.

‘Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real,’ WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

But he welcomes Italy’s tough measures, noting that just four countries – China, South Korea, Italy and Iran – accounted for 102 per cent of cases worldwide.

‘It would be the first pandemic that could be controlled,’ Tedros added. ‘The bottom line is we are not at the mercy of the virus.’

The Lombardy government has been scrambling to increase its intensive care capacity, converting operating and recovery rooms into isolated wards.

It has cobbled together more beds in the last two weeks and expects another 172 in the coming week.

‘Unfortunately we’re only at the beginning,’ said Dr. Massimo Galli, head of infectious disease at Milan’s Sacco hospital.

Speaking to SkyTg , Galli said the numbers of infections registered in Lombardy last week were similar to those in Wuhan, China in late January.

Galli noted that Wuhan, the center of China’s outbreak that infected more than , people nationwide, is a concentrated metropolis of million and Lombardy is spread out.

But the numbers ‘tell you that the diffusion is a real possibility,’ he warned.

A soldier holds his gun near the Duomo cathedral in Milan this morning with the whole of Italy now in lockdown

A largely deserted road in Milan today, although a tram is still running – with public transport continuing to operate

A masked man checks a person’s paperwork at Milan central station yesterday

A supermarket worker wearing a protective face mask is pictured through a window in Naples

A man wearing a protective face mask walks next to the Trevi fountain in Rome this morning – an area usually full of tourists

Lazio, the region surrounding the capital Rome, saw its cases jump from (to in a day, a sign that the virus was propagating far from the northern concentrations.

Also alarming was Italy’s high fatality rate: With (dead and 9, infected, Italy’s fatality rate is running at five per cent, higher than the 3-4 per cent elsewhere.

Dr Giovanni Rezza, head of infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health, attributed it to the fact that Italy has the world’s oldest population after Japan. The median age of Italy’s virus-related dead is .

But some younger people have also been in intensive care, including the first person to test positive in the north who had not been to China.

The – year-old Unilever worker named Mattia came to be known in Italy as Patient No 1.

At the San Matteo hospital in Pavia, there was a sigh of relief after Mattia began breathing on his own Monday with just a small amount of oxygen assistance.

He was moved out of intensive care to a sub-ICU unit and was speaking with doctors.

‘This disease has a long life,’ intensive care chief Dr Francesco Mojoli told RAI state television. ‘Now we hope that the fact that he was young and in good shape will help him get back to his normal life.’

The nearly deserted Corso Venezia street in Milan this morning, with northern Italy at the center of the outbreak

A waitress in Milan looks on by a sign advising clients to keep their distance from each other, under Italy’s new quarantine rules

This picture shows the Via Dante and Cordusio metro station in Milan today with only a handful of people walking around

A long line of shoppers queueing with trolleys at a supermarket after last night’s announcement

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