BRITISH Airways and Ryanair have cancelled all flights to Italy until April 4 and April 8 respectively, following the latest travel advice from the government that advises against all travel to the country.
The Foreign Office has warned to avoid "all but essential" travel as coronavirus cases in Italy near 10,000.
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The cancellations follow fears that passengers were not being checked properly for coronavirus after returning to the UK from Italy.
British Airways has 18 routes to a number of destinations in Italy, including Milan, Venice, Rome and Florence, while Ryanair has nearly 30 Italian bases.
However, following the ban on non-essential travel to the country as it goes into lockdown, the airlines have suspended all flights.
Travellers will be offered refunds, or be allowed to change their flights for free to fly at a later date.
Ryanair has announced that it is suspending all Italian domestic flights from midnight on March 11 and all Italian international flights from midnight on March 13.
Passengers looking for repatriation can obtain a free move to an earlier Ryanair flight operating up until midnight on Friday.
Affected passengers will be able to choose between a full refund or a travel credit that can be redeemed on Ryanair flights in the next 12 months.
The latest advice from the Foreign Office in regards to Italy states: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Italy, due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) and in line with various controls and restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities on 9 March."
"British nationals remain able to depart Italy without restriction. Airports remain open throughout Italy. However, airline schedules are subject to change and some flights are being cancelled.
"Travellers are advised to check flight details with airlines.
EasyJet has also stopped a number of routes to Italy today, while US airlines including Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines have suspended them all until next month.
Ryanair said in a statement: "Ryanair continues to comply fully with WHO and national Government guidance and travel bans. The situation is changing on a daily basis, and all passengers on flights affected by travel bans or cancellations, are receiving emails and are being offered flight transfers, full refunds or travel credits."
"Ryanair apologises sincerely to all customers for these schedule disruptions, which are caused by national Government restrictions and the latest decision of the Italian Government to lock down the entire country to combat the Covid-19 virus."
A British Airways spokesperson previously told Sun Online Travel: "In light of the Italian Government's announcement and the UK Government's official travel advice, we have contacted all customers who are due to travel today (10 March).
"We have updated our policy to give customers more options and flexibility. Any travellers due to fly to or from Italy between now and April 4 can rebook to a later date up until the end of May, move their destination to Geneva or Zurich or receive a full refund.
"We recommend that any travellers continue to check their booking on ba.com for the latest information and ensure their contact details are up-to-date in the Manage My Booking section of the website."
If you have a holiday booked but need to cancel due to coronavirus, you should check with your travel insurance provider to see if you are covered.
Experts have advised not cancelling holidays to Europe, with many countries still reporting low cases of coronavirus.
If you do need to cancel it, we've explained everything you need to know and do.
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