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Coronavirus: Britons returning from northern Italy told to self-isolate

Britons returning from northern Italy are being told to self-isolate in the UK if they show coronavirus symptoms.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said those people coming back from north of Pisa are asked to stay at home for 14 days.

The advice also applies to anyone who recently returned from Italy’s quarantined towns even if they have no symptoms, he said.

Italy has put several parts of Lombardy and Veneto into lockdown.

Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast the official advice is to be formally updated “so that those who have been to northern Italy – north of Pisa – if they have flu-like symptoms should self-isolate”.

He added: “If people have been to the affected areas that the Italian government have quarantined then they should self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms.”

Mr Hancock said he was not aware of any British citizens currently in the Italian quarantine area, where 50,000 residents have been told they cannot leave for two weeks without special permission.

But he said if any UK citizens are in the lockdown towns, they should contact the embassy in Rome.

The advice for travellers returning from Italy is now the same as for many Asian countries which have been worst-hit by the virus.

Approximately three million British nationals visit Italy every year, where coronavirus cases rose from three to 229 over four days.

Mr Hancock said the travel advice to Italy has not changed. He said there were no plans to stop flights, after experts advised it would be ineffective.

“If you look at Italy, they stopped all flights from China and they’re now the worst affected country in Europe,” he said.


How has coronavirus affected your trip in Italy? Have you recently returned from one of Italy’s quarantined towns? If so, get in touch by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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