AIRLINES have been cancelling flights across Europe as Brits avoid going on holiday because of coronavirus.
Carriers have seen high numbers of cancellations and no-shows as the virus spreads across the continent and the Italian tourist board has made a public reassurance to would-be holidaymakers that the country is safe to visit.
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Travellers wear face masks as they get ready to check in for a flightCredit: Reuters
But according to the experts, there is little point in cancelling most trips just yet – as it all depends on the location and how far along they are with the virus by the time you travel.
Speaking at a press conference that outlined the government’s six-point plan for battling the virus, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: “A lot depends on where the outbreaks are.
“At the moment the outbreaks are across Europe and across most of the world in some form or other and they are contained in many places but are becoming un-contained in some places.
“And again it depends on the stage. Once the epidemic is everywhere then at that point restricting travel makes no difference at all.
“At the moment we are certainly not recommending any change to behaviours in relation to that and if it grows in the UK it doesn’t really make sense to say you are more at risk somewhere else than you are here.”
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But even if the virus does spread to such an extent, certain travellers are being advised to consider whether they would rather catch it in the UK or while abroad.
Chief Medical Officer Christopher Whitty said: “If you happen to be in a place with a very weak health service at the peak of their epidemic, weaker than the NHS, that might be a bit more problematic.
“This is particularly an issue for those who are older or who have pre-existing medical conditions.
“So I think in those situations, you might want to think through the practicalities of being in a place with a health service less strong than the NHS.”
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The Italian tourist board has told holidaymakers that it is safe to visit the country, as the country sees cases of coronavirus surge past 2,500, while 79 people have died from the virus.
The national organisation has released a statement seeking to reassure would-be visitors, as up to 90 per cent of holiday bookings are cancelled for this month in certain parts of the country.
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