Italy is currently in the midst of the biggest coronavirus outbreak in Europe, and six people there have died from the disease so far, The New York Times reported. Additionally, the number of cases rose to 219 on Monday from 152 the day prior.

Most of the cases are in the Lombardy region, where Milan is located, as well as the Veneto region. Milan and Venice are not under quarantine, though several small towns are, with nobody allowed to either leave or enter. 
With the near-overnight surge in confirmed cases, it begs the question: Is it still safe to travel to Italy right now? Here’s what we know.

Italian officials have yet to find patient zero, but in the meantime, are taking extra precautions in Lombardy and Veneto — including closing universities and museums, and canceling mass, weddings, and funerals.
At this time, 50,000 people in 11 northern towns are on lockdown, according to the Times. There have not been any confirmed cases near other popular cities, such as Florence or Rome. In Milan, the city’s historic Duomo cathedral has closed.

Angelo Borrelli, head of Italy’s civil protection agency, said the hotspots where the virus has been found are not expanding, as those areas are under quarantine.

He also added that the outbreak remains in a contained area, and it is safe to travel to Italy. As of the time of publication, the U.S. State Department lists Italy as a Level 2 destination, last updated in January.
No updates have been made due to the spread of coronavirus. Alitalia has not issued any travel waivers as of yet. And no matter where your travels may take you, be prepared for any type of travel disruption with these tips in mind.

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