British Airways has announced it has cancelled all its flights to and from Italy today after the country was placed on lockdown.
The major airline has axed all 60 of its routes to the Mediterranean country due to the coronavirus outbreak gripping the nation.
Italy is the worst affected country by the virus in Europe with nearly 500 deaths and 10,000 cases – and the numbers are growing.
Other major airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair are also cancelling many flights to and from Italy.
BA said in a statement: "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 (10 March)."
Coronavirus: Italian police patrol quarantined streets ordering people to stay inside
Coronavirus mapped: The number of confirmed cases in your area listed
The drastic move comes after Italy's Prime Minister put the entire country on lockdown in a bid to contain the deadly virus.
For at least the next three weeks, people in the country have been told to move around only for reasons of work, for health needs or emergencies or else stay at home.
Anyone travelling will have to fill in a document declaring their reasons and carry it with them.
Large gatherings and outdoor events, including sports, have been banned, while bars and restaurants will have to close from 6pm.
Aldi stampede for loo rolls over coronavirus fears filmed in chaotic footage
Schools and universities will remain closed until April 3.
"The whole of Italy is closed now," was the headline in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
After the unprecedented move was announced last night, shoppers in Rome rushed to late-night supermarkets to stock up on food and basic necessities, promoting the government to declare that supplies would be guaranteed and urging people not to panic buy.
Shops are allowed to remain open as long as customers maintain a minimum distance of a metre between them.
Coronavirus will infect 'thousands of people in UK', warns UK top medic
The measures came after the latest data showed the coronavirus outbreak continuing to rise, with 9,172 positive cases recorded as of Monday and 463 deaths, the second highest-level in the world after China.
Meanwhile the developments came as the death toll in the UK from coronavirus rose to five.
The latest victims were two men in their 70s who had long-standing health issues.
Meanwhile the number of cases in the UK has soared to 319, while all the fatalities have involved people with underlying health conditions.
Coronavirus crisis 'to force Government to stockpile body bags'
As the deaths were confirmed, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday appealed for people not to panic buy or hoard goods.
But today it was also announced the UK is likely to see thousands more cases of the coronavirus.
And England's chief medical officer said anyone with cold, flu or fever symptoms is likely to be asked to stay at home in self-isolation in the near future.
Mr Johnson told reporters on Monday the UK will almost certainly move to the delay phase of tackling coronavirus,.
- British Airways
Source: Read Full Article