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Covid-19: Department of Foreign Affairs urges people not to travel to 11 Italian 'red zones'

There has been an increase in the number of confirmed cases in Italy

Staff assigned for Coronavirus tests at the Molinette hospital. Italy.
Staff assigned for Coronavirus tests at the Molinette hospital. Italy.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has urged the Irish public not to visit 11 areas in Italy which have been hit by the Covid-19 virus. 

This afternoon, the department updated its travel advice but added that no flight restrictions between Italy and Ireland are currently in place. 

There has been an increase in the number of confirmed cases in Italy in recent days with the north of the nation hit hardest by the outbreak.

As a result, the Italian government has isolated the towns of Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano (which are in Lombardy) and Vo’ (which is in Veneto).

The department said that these towns constitute the “red zone” and that “for the moment, therefore, we advise citizens not to travel to these towns”.

Potential tourists to northern Italy were also warned that certain tourist attractions may be shut down in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. 

The department’s statement added: “In a wider area comprising Lombardy and Veneto, as well as Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, certain public services, tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and/or cultural events may be curtailed depending on decisions taken by local authorities. Please bear this in mind before travelling.

“Irish citizens who are in Italy, or who intend to travel to Italy in the near future, and have concerns about the coronavirus, can ring the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade dedicated phone line on +353 (0)1 613 1733. Health related information is available here: www.hpsc.ie and here:www.ecdc.europa.eu.

Italy has reported 12 deaths and 374 cases of the virus so far. 

Scientists are racing to find a treatment, health crews are scrubbing everything from money to buses, and quarantines are being enforced in places from a beachfront resort in the Atlantic to an uninhabited island in the Pacific as the world battles the spread of a new virus.

Concern is also growing over the economic fallout of the outbreak, with work at many factories halted, trade routes frozen and tourism crippled, while a growing list of countries brace for the illness to claim new territory.

Singapore, Japan

The department has also urged the public to avoid other countries which have been affected by the virus.

South Korea has had over 1,100 confirmed cases of the virus.

The department said: “There is a particularly high concentration of cases of COVID-19 in the south-eastern city of Daegu and neighbouring Cheongdo, which has prompted the Korean authorities to designate both as ‘special care zones’ to prevent further risk of exposure.  For anyone contemplating travel to either Daegu or Cheongdo, we would advise against all but essential travel.”

There is an ongoing outbreak of the virus in Japan also. However, the department said that those intending to travel to the nation should contact their GP or travel clinic prior to departing.

With reporting by PA

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