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British holidaymakers in coronavirus-hit Italy told to ‘self-isolate’ on return as fears of pandemic grow

BRITS returning from parts of Italy ravaged by coronavirus are today being told to “self-isolate” for 14 days in a bid to stop the spread of the bug.

Seven people have died in Italy and more than 200 are infected – the largest number of cases outside China, Japan and South Korea.

Follow our coronavirus live blog to stay up to date with the latest news and updates.

 Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral in Milan

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Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral in MilanCredit: Reuters

 Brit holidaymakers coming back from Italy who show signs of the virus will be told to self-isolate

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Brit holidaymakers coming back from Italy who show signs of the virus will be told to self-isolateCredit: Alamy

Travel advice will change this morning to tell anyone who has travelled north of Pisa in Italy they should keep themselves at home if they have flu-like symptoms.

And if they have travelled to any quarantined area in Italy, they should self isolate no matter what, the Health Secretary said this morning.

He told BBC News: “Those have been to Northern Italy, anybody that has been to Italy north of Pisa should, if they have 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 affected areas the Italian government have quarantined, then they should self isolate whether or not they have symptoms.”

He also told LBC that if Coronavirus does become a pandemic it cannot be stopped from coming to the UK in a “big way” and admitted he was “pretty worried” about it.

More cases in the UK are expected, he added, and ministers are holding weekly COBRA meetings to discuss the emergency.

But the Government have not yet told Brits not to travel to Italy as a whole.

‘PITIFUL’ RESPONSE

Last night UK tourists in Italy blasted the UK government’s “pitiful” response to Italy’s coronavirus crisis.

Furious passengers that are set to travel to areas hit by the virus have been left with no official safety advice.

More than 25 flights are expected to leave the UK for northern Italy today.

British passengers told how they cancelled their trips over fears they would be trapped in Italy if the situation worsens.

Today’s news means thousands more people in Britain are likely to have to stay at home to stop the risk of the virus spreading further in the UK.

A 67-year-old passenger named Lea spoke told the Daily Mail that she had cancelled her trip from Stansted to Venice yesterday.

She said: “The government advice is not relevant to the situation. It’s pitiful and no help whatsoever to anybody.”

Philippa Rose, 26, was due to fly with her partner to Venice this Saturday to celebrate their anniversary.

She told the Daily Mail: As two young and fit individuals we aren’t so worried about catching the virus itself, but more about the delays in getting home and the possibility of being quarantined over there.”

She added: “It’s despicable that in the wake of this outbreak, there has been radio silence from the officials we rely on for advice.

“Everything online is for those travelling to China/Asia and northing for Italy.”

Diegeo Gullo, who flew from Milan to Gatwick on Thursday told Sky News how he had placed himself and his family in quarantine after returning from Codogno, the Italian town at the centre of the outbreak.

Speaking from his home in London, he said: “I haven’t had any specific advice, there is no check in the UK.

“We did call 111 and we were not told anything in particular…they suggested to just continue as usual.”

Italy has not been added to the Number 10’s list of “high-risk” countries prompting criticism from medics concerned tourists potentially carrying the virus are not being quarantined.

However, Britain’s chief medical officer is expected to add a number of northern reigns of Italy to that list.

Health officials are believed to be considering whether to go further and ask everyone returning from the regions to stay at home for two weeks.

This comes as an Alitalia plane has been quarantined after arriving in Mauritius, it has been reported.

BRITS TO ‘SELF-ISOLATE’

The five confirmed victims were all either elderly or had been suffering from underlying health conditions.

The deaths of three elderly patients – a 77-year-old woman, a 78-year-old man and second man, aged 53 – were confirmed on Friday and Saturday.

The fourth victim, an 84-year-old man from Bergam,o who was taken to hospital with an unrelated illness died yesterday.

An 88-year-old victim, from Caselle Landi in hard-hit Lombardy – home to 165 victims -was confirmed dead this morning.

 Panicking Italians have cleared supermarket shelves of food and drink

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Panicking Italians have cleared supermarket shelves of food and drinkCredit: EPA

 A view of a deserted street in Codogno, one the northern Italian towns placed under lockdown

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A view of a deserted street in Codogno, one the northern Italian towns placed under lockdownCredit: EPA

 A cop enforces a blockade at the entrance of the small town of Vo' Euganeo, Padova

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A cop enforces a blockade at the entrance of the small town of Vo’ Euganeo, PadovaCredit: EPA

The details of the sixth and seventh victims have not yet been confirmed by Italian authorities.

In France, there was panic after a coach driver complained of feeling unwell, as he appeared to display coronavirus symptoms after arriving from Milan.

Cops immediately took control of the bus in Lyon earlier yesterday.

Its driver is being screened for the killer virus, while passengers are in quarantine – after they were kept inside the vehicle for two hours.

LOCKDOWN

Throughout northern Italy, 50,000 people have now been placed in total lockdown in 11 towns.

Locals have been banned from attending public events including Masses, while Milan’s famous cathedral has been closed to visitors and bars and restaurants have also been ordered to shut up shop.

During the ensuing panic, shoppers have cleared supermarket shelves as they stock up amid fears of further clamp downs.

Many districts have now been left looking like virtual ghost towns as people are reportedly too afraid to leave their homes over fears they will contract the deadly bug.

PLANE QUARANTINED

And the outbreak has led to an Italian plane full of holidaymakers effectively being quarantined on the runway after landing in Mauritius, it is reported.

Officials said if anyone disembarked the Alitalia flight from Rome, they would be forced into isolation in one of two hospitals, Corriere della Sera reported.

The only alternative was for the plane to refuel and fly straight back to Italy, it is claimed.

Alitalia said it the Mauritius authorities put in place provisions for the quarantining of passengers from the Lombardy and Venice regions – but had not told it before the flight took off.

They are now being prepared for immediate return to, although none of them has any symptoms.

 Just a few packs of pasta were left on the shelves at this store in in Rozzano, near Milan

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Just a few packs of pasta were left on the shelves at this store in in Rozzano, near MilanCredit: AP:Associated Press

 A lone cyclist rides past the closed gates of a Unilever plant near Milan

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A lone cyclist rides past the closed gates of a Unilever plant near MilanCredit: Getty Images – Getty

 A closed down railway station in Casalpusterlengo, south-west Milan

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A closed down railway station in Casalpusterlengo, south-west MilanCredit: Getty Images – Getty

 A cemetery closed due to coronavirus emergency in Casalpusterlengo

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A cemetery closed due to coronavirus emergency in CasalpusterlengoCredit: EPA

The escalating outbreak has also sparked fears half-term holidaymakers returning from Italy could spread the terrifying epidemic across Europe.

And one BA flight from Heathrow to Milan was delayed yesterday when a passenger reportedly refused to fly to virus-ravaged Italy.

The outbreak has already led to the cancellation of the Venice Carnival, Milan Fashion Week and multiple Serie A football clashes.

Earlier it was revealed the outbreak had also shutdown Giorgio Armani’s high-profile Milan fashion show.

The industry icon decided it would be safer to show his latest collection to an empty theatre and stream it online rather than risk guests becoming infected.

Cops and troops have already been drafted in to seal off towns in a sweeping crackdown while the Italian

It was the first time the 45-year-old Milan fashion house has taken such a step out of public health concerns.

PM announced there would be “extraordinary measures” to quarantine tens of thousands of people.

Panicked authorities in towns within Lombardy and Veneto have ordered schools, businesses and restaurants as more and more Italians contract the killer bug.

The concerns come after retired bricklayer Adriano Trevisan, 78, died in hospital in Padua on Friday evening – becoming the first European to die from coronavirus.

On Saturday night, an Italian woman whose identity is yet to be released, also died in Lombardy.

Regional councillor Giulio Gallera confirmed a third person had died after catching the virus.

 Milan's virtually deserted Central Railway Station during morning rush hour

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Milan’s virtually deserted Central Railway Station during morning rush hourCredit: EPA

 Three people wearing haz-mat style suits on the Milan metro

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Three people wearing haz-mat style suits on the Milan metroCredit: Splash News

 Tourists wearing protective face masks visit the Piazza San Marco, in Venice

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Tourists wearing protective face masks visit the Piazza San Marco, in VeniceCredit: AFP or licensors

 A young tourist wearing a protective face mask and a Carnival mask visits the streets of Venice

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A young tourist wearing a protective face mask and a Carnival mask visits the streets of VeniceCredit: AFP or licensors

 Serie A football matches in northern Italy were also cancelled as a precaution

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Serie A football matches in northern Italy were also cancelled as a precautionCredit: Reuters

 A cop in Venice wears a protective mask as the city's carnival is shutdown over coronavirus fears

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A cop in Venice wears a protective mask as the city’s carnival is shutdown over coronavirus fearsCredit: EPA

 Retired bricklayer Adriano Trevisan, 78, died in hospital in Padua on Friday evening - becoming the first European to die from coronavirus

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Retired bricklayer Adriano Trevisan, 78, died in hospital in Padua on Friday evening – becoming the first European to die from coronavirusCredit: Vanessa Trevisan

There has been at least 200 cases of the killer bug reported in northern Italy.

The include 112 in Lombardy – including two in Milan – and 22 in Veneto.

Health officials also reported isolated cases in the neighbouring regions of Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.

Dozens of people have now been put in medical isolation and are awaiting test results.

Health authorities are struggling to work out how the outbreak started.

The first cases were announced only on Friday and doctors do not know its source.

Initial suspicion in Lombardy fell on a businessman recently returned from China, the epicentre of the new virus, but he has tested negative.

In Veneto, doctors tested a group of eight Chinese visitors who had been to the town that was home to the first fatality, but again, they all tested negative.

“We are (now) even more worried because if we cannot find ‘patient zero’ then it means the virus is even more ubiquitous than we thought,” Regional governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia said.

Prior to Friday, Italy had reported just three cases of the virus – all of them people who had recently arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the illness emerged last year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was concerned by the upsurge in new cases and a lack of clarity over its spread.

“I am sending a … team to Italy to work together to learn about virus spread and (how to) contain it,” the WHO’s European Regional Director Hans Kluge said on Twitter.

 Ambulances and health workers are seen transporting a patient outside the Padua's Hospital, northern Italy

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Ambulances and health workers are seen transporting a patient outside the Padua’s Hospital, northern ItalyCredit: EPA

 Many businesses in affected regions are under lockdown

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Many businesses in affected regions are under lockdownCredit: AFP or licensors

Italy airports screen passengers for coronavirus amid outbreak


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