Covid/corona virus: info on potential Euro border/airport closings
March 5, 2020 6:46 PM   Subscribe

Partner and I are booked to travel next Thursday from L.A. to Rome via Madrid, and home from Rome via London on March 22. Do aviation-afilliated Mefites know how likely it is that Madrid / Rome / London will close its airports or borders to commercial flyers during this period, OR point me to a website I can access that discusses this?
posted by goofyfoot to Travel & Transportation around Rome, Italy (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Whether or not they close their airports, I think you should also consider the possibility that you may have to go through a quarantine to be able to travel onward from Italy. Even if that's not the case by next Thursday, it could well be true on the 22nd.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:36 PM on March 5, 2020 [9 favorites]

CDC has issued a level 3 travel advisory (avoid nonessential travel) for Italy. There is a possibility you could be subject to quarantine after traveling in Italy, and there will likely be travel disruptions as flights to and from Italy get cancelled.
posted by emd3737 at 9:30 PM on March 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

one hour ago, The Guardian's coronavirus liveblog:
In Italy, the coronavirus death toll has risen by 41 over the past 24 hours to 148, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, with the contagion still showing no sign of slowing.

The accumulative number of cases in the country, which is hardest hit by the virus in Europe, totalled 3,858, up from 3,089 on Wednesday.

The head of the agency said that of those originally infected, 414 had fully recovered versus 276 the day before.

While the contagion is focused on a handful of hotspots in the north of Italy, cases have now been confirmed in each of the country’s 20 regions.
Meanwhile, in Palestine, (the previous entry)discusses:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency on Thursday after coronavirus cases were reported in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

The decree was announced hours after officials closed Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplaces of Jesus, and banned foreign tourists from West Bank hotels.

“We have decided to declare a state of emergency in all Palestinian areas to confront the danger of the coronavirus and prevent it from spreading,” said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, reading from the decree.

He also decided to close all schools, colleges and kindergartens and to cancel foreign tourist reservations.
So there's always the chance you could arrive in Italy only to have your hotel entry canceled while you're in the air, or something.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:10 PM on March 5, 2020

Best answer: Hi from Rome! I can’t speak to what other countries might do, but considering how hard the tourism and relative sectors have been hit, I doubt Italy will completely close its borders. they are examining passengers at the airport, though.

Museums and such are limiting entries, to attempt to maintain a recommended 1 meter safe distance between people.

I would contact your accommodations to double check, but I’m fairly sure they won’t cancel your reservation. Like I said, the tourism sector is screaming in agony, because this is traditionally the ramp up period from low season to high Easter season.

I think your visit will be extraordinarily pleasant, because the lack of tourists and everybody sticking close to home is ironically making the city center pleasantly tranquil in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever seen in my 20+ years of living here.

If any new decrees that are germane to your question are issued, I’ll post them here. Have a great trip (and bring hand sanitizer because it might be scarce on the ground here :P)
posted by romakimmy at 12:18 AM on March 6, 2020 [10 favorites]

It is doubtful that airports will close. What is more likely is that your flight may be cancelled, especially on your way out of Italy.

Because of the swift decrease in travel, airlines on the edge may as FlyBe has just done, suddenly go into administration.

Other airlines are now suddenly cancelling flights.I know large airlines like Norwegian, TAP, BA are already cancelling flights, leaving you potentially stranded in Rome. This will probably increase. And then there's the possibility that London may have you undergo testing and/or quarantine.

I think you'll be ok by next week but the above things are what I would keep an eye on.
posted by vacapinta at 2:26 AM on March 6, 2020

Best answer: It seems like you're flying Iberia and British Airways on an itinerary like that, so why not check the Flyertalk forums for those airlines?

Here's the Q/A post for coronavirus on the BA forum
. The BA forum is the most active on the site so expect quickish answers.

There isn't an equivalent coronavirus thread on the Iberia forum but feel free to ask.
posted by mdonley at 11:12 AM on March 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

My SiL was headed to a place in northern Italy soon, and Marriott refunded her the whole cost of her stay even though her trip insurance didn't cover it. She grabbed the offer with both hands and is happily staying home.

Three cheers for Mariott!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:59 PM on March 6, 2020

Italy just placed its northern economic heartland, with 16 million people, on lockdown. All public activities restricted, no entries, no departures. The area doesn't cover Rome yet, but given all of the travel and economic links between Rome and Milan, I think it's only a matter of time.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:48 PM on March 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Strangely stunted trees beat me to the punch. I was obviously entirely too optimistic above. If by some chance you still make it here, feel free to hit me up via MeMail if you need any help.

This is effing nuts.
posted by romakimmy at 12:42 AM on March 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for your replies!

We're still thinking of taking our trip.

We're reading Flyertalk and La Repubblica. Romakimmy, is there another Roman paper Google will translate that you can recommend?
posted by goofyfoot at 6:33 PM on March 8, 2020

Corriere della Sera or ANSA, which is roughly equivalent to Reuters; this latter also has an English version, but on a glance the updates might lag behind the Italian version.

The decree shuts all museums, places of cultural interest, cinemas, theaters, and pubs. (Coffee) Bars and restaurants must ensure adequate safe distance of 1 meter between people or risk a closure ordinance. All of this is until April 3rd and effective nationwide unless a new decree declares otherwise.

Again, if you *still* make it here in spite of all this, the offer of help stands.
posted by romakimmy at 12:17 AM on March 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not sure if relevant, but finland has cancelled flights to Rome & Milan today.
posted by speakeasy at 2:26 AM on March 9, 2020

I’m watching Conte announce what amounts to a nationwide quarantine. There’s no mention of closing airports thus far but I think you’re going to have to reschedule your trip.
posted by romakimmy at 1:41 PM on March 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

It would be crazy irresponsible, and probably impossible, to take this trip. Really.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 PM on March 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah, our trip is off.

Hoping to reschedule for August. Romakitty, hoping I may take you out for a gelato then!
posted by goofyfoot at 8:19 PM on March 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

good call, I'm sorry you had to postpone but you made the right decision. 👍
posted by Justinian at 8:49 PM on March 9, 2020

« Older What are some make-ahead things to put on top of...   |   Life is short Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.