Is Italy safe? Latest travel advice as coronavirus cases hit 650 with 17 deaths

CORONAVIRUS in Italy has soared to more than 650 cases in just 24 hours, and 17 have been killed by the virus.

Ten regions across the country are locked down with travel advice warning not to travel to them – here is the latest travel update if you are travelling to Italy.

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What is the travel advice for Italy?

Italy has confirmed more than 650 cases of coronavirus, with 17 people dying from the virus, according to local media.

Regions including Lombardy, near Milan, and Veneto, near Venice, have been affected the worst.

The UK government's travel advice for Brits warns against all but essential travel to the 10 towns that have been isolated due to the outbreak.

They advise: "The FCO advise against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo), which have been isolated by the Italian authorities due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)."

They also add: "The government of Italy introduced extraordinary measures that allow regions to implement civil protection measures in response to coronavirus, including the isolation of the towns above.

"The regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna have announced measures that include the suspension of events that involve meeting in public or private places, the suspension of schools and higher education and the suspension on the opening of museums and other cultural institutions for 7 days."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that tourists who have travelled to the regions already should "self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms".

Images of Milan show the city almost deserted with tourists cancelling hotels and flights to Italy amid fears of the virus.

Can I cancel my flights to Italy?

If you are due to fly to one of the affected regions that has been warned against, airlines might now offer to change your flights free of charge.

Although, because the government advice only concerns specific towns and not airports, airlines are not obliged to.

Regions that are deemed safe to travel, such as Venice and Milan, will not be affected by the new government advice, with airlines unlikely to allow you to change your flights without a fee.

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