The U.S. State Department has advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Italy and South Korea, a move that will severely hurt tourism especially in Italy and likely lead to further reductions in airline service.
Raising the travel advisories to Italy and South Korea to Level 3, the U.S. is advising citizens to avoid all non-essential travel. This is one step short of banning travel. Countries are rated on a 1-4 scale, with the following level definitions:
- Level 1 – Exercise normal precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise increased caution
- Level 3 – Reconsider travel
- Level 4 – Do not travel
U.S. Advises Against Italy Travel
Here’s the latest on travel to Italy from the State Department:
Reconsider travel to Italy due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19.
There is an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 caused by a novel (new) coronavirus in Italy. Many cases of COVID-19 have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case, but sustained community spread has been reported in Italy. Sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for Italy. At this time, CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Italy.
Bernabo Bocca, President of Federalberghi, an Italian hotel federation, told the Associated Press, “We had already registered a slowdown of Americans coming to Italy in recent days. Now the final blow has arrived.”
U.S. Advises Against South Korea Travel
Here’s the latest on travel to South Korea from the State Department:
Reconsider travel to South Korea due to an outbreak of COVID-19…
A novel coronavirus is causing an outbreak of COVID-19in South Korea. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The South Korean government has reported cases of the COVID-19 in the country and has upgraded its response level to “grave”, its highest response level….
If suspected to have COVID-19 (coronavirus) in South Korea, you may face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs.
Much of South Korea has already essentially shut down with its recent outbreak of coronavirus.
With these travel advisories in effect, I expect U.S. airlines will shortly cancel or at least dramatically scale back all service to South Korea and Italy.
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