COVID-19: The entirety of Italy is placed under quarantine

It was announced this morning that Italy has placed a quarantine on the entire country in a bid to contain the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

[Itay’s PM, Giuseppe Conte, described the lockdown as “Italy’s darkest hour”]

Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte said: "The future depends on us and everyone must do their part," as it was announced that the country would suspend all inbound and outbound flights, cancel any public gatherings, and suspend sporting events. 

Italy has been the worst-hit country in Europe, with over 9,000 cases confirmed in two weeks. The quarantine will last until 4 April at the earliest, with over 60 million people under containment. The following sectors have been affected:

Retail 

Cinemas and museums have been shut, as well as ski lifts and other recreational facilities.

Food stores are allowed to remain open at all times. Bars and restaurants will open from 06:00 to 18:00, provided that there is at least a metre of space between employees and customers. 

Education 

Schools and universities will be closed until 3 April. 

Travel 

BA announced today that it is cancelling all flights to and from Italy.

The airline 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."

"We have updated our policy to give customers more options and flexibility. Any travellers due to fly to or from Italy between now and April 4 can rebook to a later date up until the end of May, move their destination to Geneva or Zurich or receive a full refund."

It has also been reported that some ports are forbidding cruise ships to dock. 

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Other news regarding the outbreak in Italy

RBS also announced that it will allow a three-month deferment of mortgage payments to those paying on homes in Italy.

For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Europe.

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