The Trump administration is urging Americans to avoid travel to parts of Italy and South Korea amid growing concern about the spread of coronavirus.
In a press conference Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. has raised the travel warning to level 4 – its most severe warning – regarding travel to affected areas of Italy and South Korea.
In addition, the existing travel ban on Iran is being extended to include any foreign national who has visited Iran in the last 14 days, Pence said.
The “president has also directed the State Department to work with our allies in Italy and in South Korea to coordinate a screening, a medical screening, in their countries of any individuals that are coming in to the United States of America,” Pence said.
The new advisory applies to two regions in northern Italy: Lombardy, home to Milan, and Veneto, which includes Venice. Milan and Venice are major Italian vacation destinations.
Due to the heightened alert and a drop in travel demand, American Airlines late Saturday announced plans to cancel its flights to Milan through April 24.The carrier offers daily nonstop flights from New York and Miami.
Affected passengers will be given the option of canceling the flight or rebooking.
American also serves Venice but the service is seasonal and not scheduled to return until May.
The temporary suspension of Milan flights, effective Sunday, means American’s only nonstop flights to Italy this spring will be to Rome. The State Department alert level for Rome and elsewhere in Italy outside northern Italy remains at level 3, which means “reconsider travel.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Morgan Hines