In a statement, the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) said that “Italy is a safe country, it is safe to live in Italy and it is safe to travel to Italy”.
According to ENIT, the Italian National Health System “immediately implemented procedures directed at safeguarding citizens and tourists” in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in the European nation.
“Intense controls made it possible for the Italian Government to monitor and contain the spreading of Covid-19 from the earliest diffusion outside the Chinese borders,” ENIT said.
“The adoption of extraordinary preventive actions, such as the temporary closure of several sites or the suspension of several events, represents cautionary measures which have nothing to do with the spreading of the virus throughout the Italian territory.”
Citing data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ENIT says that only 0.05% of Italy has been impacted by “extraordinary measures of temporary isolation of some Italian cities (equal to 0.1% of the total) aimed at avoiding the spread of the virus”.
According to the tourism body, only 11 out of 7904 Italian cities are affected by such measures. These are Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Castiglione D'Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia and Terranova dei Passerini in Lombardy and Vo’ Euganeoin Veneto.
“The remainder of the country, including the Italian regions where the cities in temporary isolation are located, is safe and accessible,” the ENIT statement read.
“All services and activities for citizens and tourists are normally provided and the quality of life, for which Italy is famous world-wide, remains high.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) raised its travel advice level for Italy on 1 March.
“Due to the heightened risk of sustained local transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), we now advise you to exercise a high degree of caution across all of Italy,” it says on its Smartraveller website.
It also urges Australians to reconsider their need to travel to the small towns affected by the virus in Lombardy and one town in Veneto.
Despite the very low spread of the virus, images of Venetian streets normally packed with tourists but now almost empty have been plastered across the internet over the last few days. Hopefully, those missing visitors will be back soon.
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