The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on February 25 that it has raised the travel notice for Italy to Level 2: Alert, in the wake of the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country. The CECC advised Taiwanese travelers to take enhanced precautions when visiting Italy.
There have been 229 confirmed COVID-19 cases and six deaths in Italy so far. For many cases, authorities have been unable to pinpoint the source of infection, while a cluster of infection has been reported at a local hospital. The Lombardy (home to the city of Milan) and Veneto regions have temporarily banned all religious activities and large-scale gatherings. Schools at all levels have been suspended for a week, and more than 10 towns have been put on lockdown.
The CECC stated that in response to the international spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has listed China (including Hong Kong and Macao) and South Korea under travel notice Level 3: Warning; Japan, Singapore, and Italy under travel notice Level 2: Alert; and Thailand and Iran under Level 1: Watch. The CECC will continue to closely monitor outbreak developments and adjust the listing of affected areas and travel notices when necessary.