Italy is the most affected by the new type of corona virus in Europe - and one of the most popular holiday destinations. We explain what travelers need to know now.
- The novel corona virus has arrived in numerous European countries - especially Italy .
- German vacationers are now wondering whether trips can be canceled free of charge or restrictions await them.
- The Federal Foreign Office advises against traveling to affected regions.
Every year enough Germans are drawn to the south, to the beautiful beaches and ancient cities of Italy. The new corona virus *, which originated in China, has been raging here since February. The number of people infected increases every day, and there have been twelve deaths so far (as of February 27, 2019). Numerous localities in the province of Lodi in Lombardy and in the province of Padua have been blocked off by the local authorities. Find out here what this means for travelers to Italy and whether you can cancel your trip.
Is there a travel warning for vacationers in Italy?
So far, the Federal Foreign Office has not issued a general travel warning for Italy. However, it advises against unnecessary trips to the province of Lodi in Lombardy and to the city of Vò Euganeo in the province of Padua in Veneto (as of February 27, 2020).
Since February 23, local authorities have banned entry and exit in the affected areas. The places so far include:
- Castiglione d'Adda
- Terranova dei Passerini
- San Fiorano
Major events in the affected regions - including the Venice Carnival - have been canceled or canceled early. Many public institutions remain closed.
The Federal Foreign Office points out that due to the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19 , "increased entry controls to identify sick travelers and the occurrence of illnesses in the country up to quarantine measures and entry bans must be expected" (as of February 27, 2020). Health checks would be carried out at airports and ports as well as overland traffic in regions where there were coronavirus cases. In general, however, airports, ports and train stations would be in regular operation.
Can I cancel my trip to Italy because of the corona virus?
"Only when the Federal Foreign Office issues an official travel warning does the package traveler have a 100% guarantee that the tour operator will not be charged a cancellation fee if the contract is canceled," said Berlin travel lawyer Roosbeh Karimi of the Tagesspiegel. Accordingly, an official travel warning is not a legal prerequisite for being able to cancel free of charge, but it can make the process easier and save trouble with the tour operator.
According to experts, individual travelers - in contrast to package travelers - who have booked accommodation and flights on their own, must also expect that both cannot be canceled free of charge, even if the corona virus rages at the travel destination *. Nevertheless, numerous travel providers and transport companies now offer free cancellation options.
Coronavirus in Italy: can I cancel my train tickets?
Due to the corona virus, train journeys in the affected regions can always be restricted . For example, the Austrian Federal Railroad (ÖBB) stopped train traffic on the Brenner route from Italy to Munich for a short time on Sunday because passengers showed flu-like symptoms. However, tests for the corona virus were negative, as the travel reporter reported. ÖBB is now offering travelers to Italy with ÖBB tickets valid between 23.02. and 01.03.2020 to cancel them free of charge.
+++ ROUTE INFO ITALY +++
ÖBB tickets to Italy valid between 23.02. - 01.03. can be canceled free of charge. Please contact our ÖBB ticket counters and 05-1717. # ÖBBStreckeninfo
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Italian rail company Trenitalia also wants to fully reimburse train journeys regardless of the tariff if they are canceled due to the corona virus. Regional train tickets are reimbursed in cash, while high-speed or long-distance train tickets are replaced by a one-year voucher. The express train provider Italo also offers vouchers that are valid until the end of July for customers who have booked trips to and from the affected regions in northern Italy.
Find out here : Coronavirus protection: Should air passengers wear a face mask?
Will air traffic to and from Italy cease?
The airports in Venice and Milan , which are located in the distribution area of the corona virus, initially allow their flight operations to continue as normal, as both airports have stated on their websites.
According to the SZ, Lufthansa also offers that passengers can cancel or rebook their flights free of charge if they no longer want to start their journey due to changed entry regulations.
If you are unsure whether travel can be canceled with your travel provider, the airline or the railway company, it is best to always contact a contact person or visit the company's website.
Also interesting : Coronavirus: cruise employees reveal - cruise ships are really that clean.
Tourism industry in Italy in crisis
The corona virus in Italy is extremely difficult for the local tourism industry . As Der Spiegel learned from the vice president of the Federturismo Confindustria association, Marina Lalli, the company would face a loss in revenue in the tens of millions: "The development is so dramatic these days that we cannot even really estimate the consequences." The Association of Italian Travel and Tourism Associations estimates the rate of short-term cancellations at around 70 percent .
For more information on travel warnings due to the corona virus, click here.
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* Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editors network.