Italy has the largest number of cases of coronavirus in Europe, and now the Government has updated its advice for people who have visited recently or are booked to go.
There have been 229 cases in Italy and its government announced a series of drastic measures over the weekend to try to contain the outbreak.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “The official advice which is being formally updated this morning (Tuesday) and it is going to change so that those who’ve been to northern Italy, that’s essentially anybody who’s been to Italy north of Pisa should, if they have symptoms, flu like symptoms, should self isolate which means go home and try to stay out of contact with other people.
“If people have been to the affected areas that the Italian government have quarantined then they should self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms.
“That is the official advice from the Chief Medical Officer.”
The quarantined areas are
- Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Emilia Romagna.
These regions have implemented measures including the suspension of public or private events.
If you are planning to visit Italy the advice is to arrange to discuss your travel plans with your GP surgery or pharmacist.
The Foreign Office says that if you are elderly or have pre-existing health issues, you should be aware that if you are infected with COVID-19 virus “you could be at increased risk of severe infection”.
They say: “If you have been in contact with a known COVID-19 case, follow local public health advice (if available), and speak to your healthcare provider or travel insurance company as soon as possible for further guidance.”
Approximately 3 million British nationals visit Italy every year, and many tourists will have visited the country over last week’s half term holiday.