MINISTER FOR Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has warned Irish citizens against travelling to anywhere in Italy amid the growing threat of coronavirus.
Mr Coveney released a statement in which he confirmed that the Department of Foreign Affairs were now "recommending against travel to the whole of Italy" rather than just the most highly affected areas.
The move comes as the entire country of Italy has been put into lockdown, with an estimated 60 million people in quarantine, forced to remain inside, with all large events cancelled and schools and universities closed until 3 April.
While flights are still operating in and out of Italy, the Italian Government say that only people with a crucial work or family reason will be allowed to leave or enter the country.
In light of internal developments in Italy my department is upgrading travel advice to Irish citizens, recommending against travel to whole of Italy.
The Taoiseach will today raise the issue of flights & further EU-wide responses at a meeting of the European Council. @COVID19
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) March 10, 2020
Mr Coveney went on to state that acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar would be attending a meeting of the European Council, where he would raise the issue of flights as well as other EU-wide responses to the COVID-19 threat.
Over 110,000 people worldwide have been infected with the virus which has killed over 3,800 people.
The island of Ireland currently has 36 confirmed cases, with 24 in the Republic and 12 in the North.
The Irish Government have announced a €3 billion emergency fund to tackle the spread of the virus, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warning that the crisis could become "not like anything in living memory".