CDC issues a Level 3 travel warning for Italy over COVID-19 concerns


  • The US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued travel warnings for Italy amid the spread of COVID-19.
  • The European country has the highest number of novel-coronavirus cases outside Asia, with more than 800 infected and 21 deaths.
  • The State Department issued a Level 2 warning for Italy in January stemming from terrorism concerns.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a level 3 travel warning for Italy after more than 800 cases of COVID-19 were discovered in mostly the northern region of the country.

At least 21 people have died from the virus. The CDC warned Americans to avoid all non-essential travel to the country. Their warning also stated that older adults and those with pre-existing conditions could be at a higher risk of severe disease. 

On Monday, the CDC issued a level 2 travel warning for the country which only urged Americans who are “high risk travelers” to reconsider “non-essential” travel. Older people or those with preexisting conditions should try and avoid travel to the country.

Additionally, the CDC said if someone  “must travel”, they are encourage to avoid people who are sick and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer more frequently. They should also monitor their health for 14 days after they return. 

While it was previously thought the incubation period of the virus was up to 14 days, some studies suggests it could be much longer. Some have suggested 19 days, and others as much as 24 days, Business Insider previously reported

The CDC also said that those who have been in Italy in the past two weeks and develop any respiratory symptoms should seek medical help. They should call their health care provider before their visit and inform them of their travel and potential exposure, which allows their provider take necessary precautions to prevent potential further spread. 

More than 2 million Americans visited Italy in 2016, according to the European Travel Information and Authorization System.

In January, the US State Department issued a Level 2 travel warning for the country because of terrorism concerns.

The US Embassy in Rome issued a notice on Monday regarding the COVID-19 outbreaks. 

The message said routine visa services in the Milan Consulate would be suspended until March 2 because of staff shortages. The majority of COVID-19 cases were discovered in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, which include the popular tourist cities of Milan and Venice.

Insider previously reported that Italy has placed a dozen cities on lockdown to combat the spread. The lockdown prevents 500,000 people from leaving the region. 



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