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Coronavirus Update: Travel Ban extends to entire country

Coronavirus Update: Travel Ban extends to entire country

Old Feb 23, 20, 3:44 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Coronavirus Update: Travel Ban extends to entire country

I have a 3 week trip scheduled for April to Rome, Naples, Florence and Tuscany. It looks like the Coronavirus is spreading there and the Italian government is implementing some draconian measures to limit the spread. I expect things are only going to get worse.
I am not really worried about contracting the virus experiencing closures, restrictions and possible quarantine.

If you are or just left there, what are you seeing?
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Old Feb 23, 20, 5:28 pm
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Was due to fly to Milan tomorrow and on to France after a few days. Due to all the closures and cancellations, we were concerned about them closing or limiting the trains between Milan and French destinations. Feel very lucky I was able to change my flights to head directly to Paris. Lost a bit of $ but, like you, we weren’t concerned about contracting the virus, but the limitations it would place on travel and attractions. Just read that Carnival in Venice is cancelled. That really surprised me.

it seems to me what happens in the next week will tell you what the future may be like. Schools are closed all until March 2. If they extend that closure I’d rethink Italy.
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Old Feb 23, 20, 9:01 pm
  #3  
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There might be delays for trains between Italy and the rest of Europe as more checks might be conducted. Apparently a train was delayed to test passengers along the Brenner Pass between Italy and Austria.
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Old Feb 23, 20, 9:44 pm
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We have a family reunion-esque trip to Venice at the end of March. Far away but starting to get nervous. Everything is booked and non-refundable, including paid J and a hotel that is eyewateringly expensive. Insurance of course does not cover. Too soon to tell but hope it all works out.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 12:29 am
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Currently in Milan for Fashion Week and will be here for a bit more

About 60% of the noise is mindless panic and 40% is genuine worry.

Facts :
1. School is cancelled until March 2, but this was anmounced with relatively little notice so many locals are scrambling to make arrangements. I expect to see quite a few children in the office today.
2. Many gatherings like mass, Teatro alla Scala performances, football games, etc are cancelled.
3. Mild panic at supermarkets, some staples are being cleaned out.
4. Many fashion showrooms have extra anti bacterial wipes placed around
5. Overall restaurants were quite busy on the weekend, bit there were fewer people roaming the shops and streets on the weekend.
6. Most Chinese fashion industry personnel (buyers, bloggers, journalists, photogs) are noticeably absent. Many European buyers have also cancelled their trips, one showroom i visited yesterday said they had 7 (and counting cancellations) this week so far from big European accounts.
7. 10 or so small towns are shut down in the vicinity of Milan.
8. There are fever checks when entering MXP for all passengers just before immigration.
9. All flights between China and Italy are suspended.
10. Many government services are shuttered for the week.
11. Venice Carnival didnt cancel entirely, just closed 2 days early on accoumt of coronavirus

Rumors with no basis at the time of writing:
1. Centrale will be shut down
2. Airports will stay closed after the ATC strike on 25 Feb
3. City of Milan will shut down and no one in or out.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 3:50 am
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I have a cruise to Italy in April. I wouldn't doubt by then that they may shutdown the cruise ports too if things continue to worsen. My cruise is already paid in full, included airline. Hotel is cancelable. The cruise itinerary may change, don't know yet.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 5:07 am
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Nowhere near the epicenter of the concern, but my wife, kiddo and I have 8 days planned in Rome during the second week of April via award travel on AA & Aeroplan. Will obviously be watching closely over the next few weeks.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by kaipoman View Post
Nowhere near the epicenter of the concern, but my wife, kiddo and I have 8 days planned in Rome during the second week of April via award travel on AA & Aeroplan. Will obviously be watching closely over the next few weeks.
I have a work trip to Rome plan for the end of March. I'm not so much worried about any real threat to myself, but rather the perceived threat from others, who will think I'm crazy for even considering it. And my employer may simply refuse to let me go. Who knows?

I will be hoping against hope that the Italian governments (local and regional) can get this under control, for their own sake (my worries are inconsequential, obviously).
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Old Feb 24, 20, 11:11 pm
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My wife and I are in Milan and then Rome in 2 weeks. If I prepaid for rooms on Bonvoy, is there a chance I can get a refund due to the virus? I'm not super worried we will get it, but I'd rather go somewhere else if a lot of things will be shut down.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by BA Humbug View Post
Currently in Milan for Fashion Week and will be here for a bit more

About 60% of the noise is mindless panic and 40% is genuine worry.

Facts :
1. School is cancelled until March 2, but this was anmounced with relatively little notice so many locals are scrambling to make arrangements. I expect to see quite a few children in the office today.
2. Many gatherings like mass, Teatro alla Scala performances, football games, etc are cancelled.
3. Mild panic at supermarkets, some staples are being cleaned out.
4. Many fashion showrooms have extra anti bacterial wipes placed around
5. Overall restaurants were quite busy on the weekend, bit there were fewer people roaming the shops and streets on the weekend.
6. Most Chinese fashion industry personnel (buyers, bloggers, journalists, photogs) are noticeably absent. Many European buyers have also cancelled their trips, one showroom i visited yesterday said they had 7 (and counting cancellations) this week so far from big European accounts.
7. 10 or so small towns are shut down in the vicinity of Milan.
8. There are fever checks when entering MXP for all passengers just before immigration.
9. All flights between China and Italy are suspended.
10. Many government services are shuttered for the week.
11. Venice Carnival didnt cancel entirely, just closed 2 days early on accoumt of coronavirus

Rumors with no basis at the time of writing:
1. Centrale will be shut down
2. Airports will stay closed after the ATC strike on 25 Feb
3. City of Milan will shut down and no one in or out.
Thaks for the info. Your feedback would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 5:48 am
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Live from Torino, where I happily and safely live.
Let me be very honest with you all, it's the most stupid psychosis I've ever seen in 38 years of life.
There is one fundamental reason, highlighted by virologists, to explain the rise of this virus in Italy: Italy is conducting many more tests than any other country in Europe and this is easily explained if you think in the Italian mentality.
"Italians take wars as football games, and football games as wars", said Churchill some decades ago.
This is exactly what is happening: Italian authorities started the "war" hesitating and now, after a few days, are closing the gate when the oxen have run away.

Yes, schools are closed (but it's Carnival time, so it doesn't change that much), trains run late (well, this is not changing that much either), theatres and cinemas are closed (this is strange), football matches will be played behind closed doors (totally silly, in my opinion, for the players themselves), but work is going as normal.
Of course the percentage of "smart working" has increased but, believe me, the real problem is the TV news.
People feel forced to buy everything at supermarkets (but not "penne lisce", a format of pasta not straining the sauce, a sort of blasfemy in Italy).

What can we do? Live as normal as possible, take care of cleaning hands often, behave in a safe manner (as always should be) and try not to be victim of a psychosis.

Regards to all.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 9:30 am
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Thank you to all for posting updates and information from Northern Italy. My family too has a Spring Break trip planned long ago, leaving in 10 days, starting in Milan but including the Lake District and/or heading down to Cinque Terre. Like others, our biggest concerns are: getting stuck in the area due to travel bans; getting quarantined when we return for being near an outbreak; and, touristic sites, ferries, and restaurants being closed or operation on limited schedules. It's early in the season for some of these areas anyway, so if no one is out and about, it'll be less fun to visit for sure. Our flights are paid basic economy - i.e. nonrefundable, so we're stuck with that cost at the minimum. Keep the updates coming this week and next and good luck to all - hoping the situation returns to normal sooner than later.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 1:43 pm
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My conference (at Lake Garda) in two weeks was cancelled and now I am trying to cancel the associated flights and hotels. I will then have to rebook once things calm down...this is a royal pain for me (and terrible for the few people seriously affected).
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Old Feb 25, 20, 4:20 pm
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High Schoolers trip upcoming--so thanks for Italy updates

Thanks to all for realistic reporting.....
High school grandkid has group art trip scheduled to arrive Milan Sat Mar 14,
with first night in Venice
...then on to Florence... Assisi....Sorrento.....Rome

Maybe pack some masks for her?
And a wipe-the-forehead thermometer so she can check herself...for less worry?
The school trip is with a major school tiour company....so expect that the tour company will make the go/no-go call.
Thanks again for all the realisic reporting.....
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Old Feb 25, 20, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by I.CRIS View Post
...{snip}...This is exactly what is happening: Italian authorities started the "war" hesitating and now, after a few days, are closing the gate when the oxen have run away....{snip}...
Well, I can only say one thing in defence of Italians (authorities? public?): the madness is everywhere. Just to make my point, yesterday the evening news in one of the major TV channels in Greece started with 25 minutes on the Coronavirus situation, while the number of cases and deaths here is, still, 0 (zero). At the same time, deaths from real seasonal cases of influenza are already reached 60, but other than their relatives, nobody cares! By the way, if one extrapolates from that number to the Chinese population, this would mean 9000 deaths over there, compared to the <3000 from the present epidemic.

To continue on I.CRIS's ideas, the only numbers that are to be taken seriously in Italy are the ones concerning deaths. Italy is one of the countries which, for statistical reasons, has influenza = common cold = upper respiratory infections, when these occur during a fixed period from November to February. Thus, a multitude of different viruses and aetiologies are added and this translates to 4 to 8 million (yes!) cases per year, leading to the highest flu prevalence in the world and, at the same time, lowest mortality rates. Both of these are completely wrong scientifically, but Italian public health officials have to live with it. I stress, though, that I don't have the slightest idea how the infections (not the deaths) of the present epidemic in Italy are diagnosed and counted and, especially, distinguished from the statistical flu...

Having retired three years ago (or is it already four?) I'm glad I don't have to worry about this epidemic too. My current advice to all is to worry more about the non-medical results of the present epidemic (closed "everything", cancellations, empty supermarkets, etc.) and just wait and see. I.CRIS hang on there, and good luck! I know this is certainly no help, but the reaction of your co-nationals allows me, as a Greek, to state once more "una faccia, una razza", even if this time it concerns your North.
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