UK warns against travelling to Italian virus towns

Police patrol outside Arrowe Park Hospital, where passengers of virus-hit cruiser Diamond Princess are quarantined. (AP pic)

LONDON: Britain advised its citizens to avoid travelling to almost a dozen towns in northern Italy and to self-isolate if they have flu-like symptoms after the death toll there from Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus rose on Tuesday.

Britain advised against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in the Lombardy region and one in Veneto.

“Those who have been to northern Italy – that is essentially anybody who has been to Italy north of Pisa – should, if they have flu-like symptoms, self-isolate,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

“If people have been to the affected areas that the Italian government has quarantined, then they should self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms,” Hancock said.

Britain’s health ministry also advised travellers returning from Iran, the special care zones of South Korea and China’s Hubei province to self-isolate even if they had no symptoms.

Those returning from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar should self-isolate if they develop symptoms, the ministry said.