Coronavirus: British Airways cancels all flights in and out of Italy

Airline axes 60 flights to and from Italy

British Airways (BA) has announced the cancellation of all its flights to and from Italy until the start of April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision affects more than 60 flights due to land on and arrive from the country on Tuesday.

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British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from Italy.
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Flight restrictions will not be lifted until 4 April at the earliest, the airline said.

However, BA is allowing passengers who booked to travel on flights to and from northern Italy up to April 4 to change travel dates or obtain a refund.

Budget airline Wizz Air has also announced it is cancelling routes to and from Italy, while competing airlines are also reviewing their schedules.

EasyJet has grounded most of its flights to and from northern Italy but is continuing to serve locations such as Milan, Venice and Bologna.

It is advising customers who do not want to fly that they would only be due a refund of "any government tax you may have paid".

Ryanair is telling customers whose flights are running that "the no cancellation and no refund policy remains".

It comes following a UK Government directive warning against all but essential travel to the country and that anyone returning from there should self-isolate for a period of at least two weeks.

The airline says affected customers have been contacted, announcing the plans to axe flights.

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A spokesperson for British Airways said: "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”.

Italy’s coronavirus outbreak is the worst outside of Asia, with more than 9,000 confirmed cases and 463 people dead after testing positive from the virus.

Quarantine restrictions were last night extended to include all of Italy after initially covering the northern part of the country.

Restrictions include a ban on public gatherings and the closure of schools, gymns, bars and theatres, while weddings and funerals are also on hold till 3 April.

Anyone imminently due to visit Italy on a package holiday should be offered alternative arrangements by their travel provider and a full refund if there are no suitable options.

If a tour operator refuses, customers may be entitled to compensation under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 regulations.

Travel trade organisation Abta said "it is too early" to say that summer holidays cannot go ahead as planned.

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"If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges," it added.

Anyone who has booked flights or accommodation directly should contact their airline and accommodation provider to see what flexibility they are offering.

They should also check their travel insurance as it may cover non-refundable cancellation costs for trips to areas where the FCO is advising against all but essential travel.

The Government advice for anyone returning to the UK from Italy in the last 14 days is to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, even if they do not have symptoms of the coronavirus.

Approximately three million British nationals visit Italy every year.

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