Passengers on planes returning from Italy have reported that they were not tested for the coronavirus on arrival in the UK or told what to do. Tourist Francesco Stabile told Mail Online: “I am an Uber driver. I go to Italy every two weeks to visit my girlfriend.
“I have received information from the Foreign Office but I don’t know anything about self-isolating. I am feeling well. I have nothing wrong with me.”
Italy is the worst affected country outside of China and all 60 million people have been affected by the lockdown.
Public Health England have erected posters at airports telling passengers returning from Northern Italy to “make their way home, stay indoors and call NHS 111”, even if they do not have any symptoms.
Around 631 people have died from the disease in Italy and the country has enforced its most severe limits on movement since the Second World War.
The Foreign Office has now advised against “all but essential travel to Italy”.
There are thought to be up to 40,000 UK holidaymakers and business travellers in Italy.
The UK government has told travellers arriving from Italy after March 9 to self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms.
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Shops and cafes remain open in Italy but people have been asked to keep a safe distance from each other.
Police across the country have started to patrol cafes to ensure people keep their distance from each other and that shops close at 6pm each day.
Italy has criticised the EU for being slow to help with the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy’s ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, has said Brussels needs to “go beyond engagement and consultations” and “devise emergency actions that are quick, concrete and effective.”
Mr Massari has said: “We must ensure, under EU coordination, the supply of the necessary medical equipment and its redistribution among those countries and regions most in need.
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“Today, this means Italy; tomorrow, the need could be elsewhere. Italy has already asked to activate the European Union mechanism of civil protection for the supply of medical equipment for individual protection. But unfortunately not a single EU country responded to the commission’s call.
“Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly this is not a good sign of European solidarity.”
It is thought that Italy’s economic output has been reduced by up to 15 per cent due to the lockdown.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has tried to reassure EU member states, saying: “We will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure that the European economy weathers this storm.”
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