Virus-hit Italy gets more isolated as nations restrict entry
ROME (AP) — Italians faced travel restrictions inside and outside the country Tuesday as nations near and far isolated Italy with flight bans and sweeping national measures went into effect in a bid to slow the coronavirus’ silent spread across the peninsula.
Police at Rome’s main train station checked commuters’ paperwork to ensure they had legitimate reasons to leave their residential neighborhoods for work, health or other “necessary” reasons. Carabinieri teams patrolled cafes to make sure owners were keeping customers 1-meter (yard) apart.
Internationally, Italy's status as the center of Europe's coronavirus outbreak grew even after the government on Monday extended limits on movement to the whole country to slow infections.
Malta and Spain announced a ban on air traffic from Italy. Malta turned away another cruise ship and British Airways canceled flights to the whole country. Austria barred travelers from crossing the border without a medical certificate. Britain, Ireland, Hong Kong and Germany strengthened travel advisories or flat-out urged their citizens to leave.
Even the Vatican erected a new barricade at the edge of St. Peter’s Square.
Italy now has more coronavirus cases than anywhere but China, registering 9,172 infections with 463 deaths. And officials say they expect many, many more.
”Get out of northern Italy if you’re there. We don’t know how long the Italian authorities will keep the window open,” said Erik Broegger Rasmussen, head of counsular services for Denmark’s foreign ministry.
The governor of northern Lombardy, the region hardest hit by the coronavirus, said Tuesday he will ask the government to tighten measures further after new data showed the contagion continuing to spread. Atilio Fontana told La7 private...