A BRIT couple were today left furious after returning from coronavirus-riddled Italy without being tested for the killer bug.
Frank Cassinelli and Dany Garfias Lopez were among a handful of passengers on what is thought to have been the last easyJet flight out of Malpensa to Bristol.
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But when they landed they were stunned to find no officials offering advice or health checks and were able to wander through the terminal and out.
In a travel farce, the Foreign Office has advised against "all but essential travel" to the worst-hit regions in Italy – but has said Brit nationals will be able to travel back home "without restriction".
Today, Welsh health authorities confirmed another two cases while Scotland confirmed an additional five, bringing the UK total to 285.
Around 16 million people in Lombardy, Veneto and other regions have been placed under total lockdown with a ban on people entering and leaving.
Frank and Dany today made the decision to self-isolate despite showing no symptoms and are waiting for a call back from NHS111 to arrange a swab for a Covid 19 check.
Frank who left his home in Barnstaple, Devon, to set up a tour guide business in Milan, one of the locked down Italian zones, said: "We just couldn't believe no one was waiting for us to check our temperature.
"We expected people to be waiting at Bristol ready to give us information but we had no guidance whatsoever from anyone.
"We called 111 and they said as we weren't showing symptoms we didn't have to self isolate but that didn't feel right and so we asked for a test just to reassure ourselves and the family.
"They were reluctant at first but eventually agreed so now we have to wait 48 hours and then we will be swabbed but it's crazy people have been allowed to fly in from Italy and not be checked."
Italian authorities said yesterday another 133 patients had died – a daily rise of more than 50 per cent to a total off 366 – as the worst outbreak outside China spiralled out of control.
Meanwhile any Italians found flouting the strict quarantine rules face a three month prison stretch or a hefty fine.
The Foreign Office say they do "advise" two-weeks of self-isolation upon returning from an affected region.
THE FCO HAS WARNED BRITS AGAINST 'ALL BUT ESSENTIAL TRAVEL' TO:
- Lombardy region (which includes the cities of Milan, Bergamo, Como)
- Reggio Emilia and Rimini (all in Emilia Romagna)
- Pesaro e Urbino (in Marche)
- Vercelli (all in Piemonte)
- Padova. Treviso
- Venice (in Veneto)
But there is nothing stopping passengers from hopping on public transport or entering densely populated spaces.
Brits from other coronavirus-ridden areas, like Wuhan the flu epicentre, and the deadly Princess Diamond cruise ship were placed in isolation for 14 days.
A spokesperson for the FCO said: "The safety of British nationals is always our number one priority."
Frank and Dany decided to leave Italy after the government decree was put into place over the weekend, with the isolation order lasting until April 3.
Frank added: "We saw the news break and just didn't fancy being stuck in Italy for who knows how long for so jumped on a bus and headed to the airport.
"We didn't even know if there were any flights but we got on line and booked two seats back to Bristol. They told it was the last flight out of Milan.
"The plane was virtually empty only around 20 people on board with the crew as well and one passenger was wearing a mask but no one else was but that's because all the masks have run out in Milan."
Frank added: "We just want peace of mind really and reassurance for ourselves and our friends and family.
"The advice just doesn't make any sense especially as when you look at Italy now so many people have been infected with the virus.
"We are just going to stay away from everyone until we get the results of the test."
It's reported the decision to quarantine nearly a quarter of the population has descended into chaos with thousands of Italians trying to flee south.
Last night easyJet announced they would be cancelling flights to affected regions following the lockdown.
The airline said affected passengers would be informed of cancellations by email and text message.
What Italy's lockdown means:
- Theatres and cinema suspended
- Religious ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, banned
- Sporting events cancelled
- School and university classes cancelled
- Gyms, pools and museums closed
- Dance schools, pubs, disco and bingo all suspended
- Meetings that involve health care personnel suspended
The Lockdown areas are: Lombardy (the whole region) and the 14 provinces of: Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro e Urbino, Venezia, Padova, Treviso, Asti, Alessandria, Novara Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli.
Meanwhile the FTSE 100 plunged by 8.8 per cent this morning after an oil price war launched by Saudi Arabia overnight wiped 30 per cent off the price of a barrel of oil.
It was at a three-year low, with investors also alarmed about the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.
As of 11:45am today, it's recovered slightly and is down 6.4 per cent.
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