Coronavirus outbreaks have hit Italy, with a number of towns on lockdown following outbreaks in northern regions Lombardy and Veneto.
The FCO is currently advising against all but essential travel to these towns (the full list can be found below), throwing thousands of Brits' travel plans into disarray.
So, what exactly do you do if you have a holiday booked to Italy in the next few weeks?
To give you a helping hand, we've put together a guide with travel advice for Italy amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
This includes which Italian towns are affected, what to do if you had a holiday booked – and what to do if you have a trip planned somewhere else in Italy which currently isn't hit by coronavirus.
Check out the advice below…
Which towns in Italy are in lockdown?
Currently there are 11 towns isolated by authorities; 10 in the region of Lombardy, and one in the region of Veneto. These are:
- Castiglione d'Adda
- San Fiorano
- Terranova dei Passerini
- Vo' Euganeo
The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to these destination. It also adds as part o its advice that "the government of Italy has introduced extraordinary measures that allow regions to implement civil protection measures in response to coronavirus, including the isolation of these towns".
It's worth noting that the FCO advice can change very quickly – so please make sure to check the latest FCO advice for Italy before you travel.
If you had a holiday planned to one of the affected regions
If you had a trip planned to one of the affected regions where the FCO advises against travel, get in touch with your travel firm or tour operator.
They will likely discuss a range of options, such as rebooking your trip at a later date, or changing your itinerary so that you avoid the affected regions but can still go on a holiday. (If it's the latter and you're not happy with the changes, you are entitled to request a refund).
It's also worth checking your travel insurance policy as some providers do cover cancellation for an epidemic. (If you do travel to one of the affected regions, you won't be covered by your travel insurance).
If the FCO doesn't advise against travel to your destination
If you've got a holiday planned to Italy in the coming weeks, but the region isn't where the FCO currently advises against travel, your trip is still going ahead.
Travel firms are unlikely to cancel your trip, especially if you're not travelling imminently, although they do monitor the situation, and may get in touch with alternatives such as rebooking for a later date.
Unfortunately, you won't be covered if you decide not to travel – most insurance providers don't offer cover for 'disinclination to travel'.
You can find about more your options in our overall coronavirus travel advice guide .
What travel insurance will cover
If the FCO advises against travel to your destination, you might be able to get a refund for out of pocket losses – but this depends on your policy.
If there's no advice against travelling to your region, but you don't want to go on holiday, it's unlikely you'll get money back as most providers don't offer cover for 'disinclination to travel'.
Read our coronavirus travel insurance guide for more information on both of the circumstances above.
Stuart Lloyd, Travel Insurance Expert at Columbus Direct , comments: "The FCO has recently updated its travel advice regarding Italy, advising against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto.
"As the updates on various countries are likely to be constantly amended, we’d recommend checking the travel advice concerning the particular country you are planning to visit, as well as checking in with your transport and accommodation provider.
"If anyone is looking to cancel a trip, make sure you review your travel insurance policy as most, but not all of them, will cover cancellation for an epidemic or due to FCO advice. If there is no mention of epidemics or reference to the FCO included within the list of things that are covered under cancellation, then there is a good chance that any losses from not travelling will not be covered by the policy."
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