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Ryanair suspends all Italy flights as country goes into coronavirus lockdown

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs has advised citizens not to travel to Italy as the coronavirus spreads

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Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Passengers board a Ryanair passenger plane. Photo by Ulrich Baumgarrten via Getty Images

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Passengers board a Ryanair passenger plane. Photo by Ulrich Baumgarrten via Getty Images

U. Baumgarten via Getty Images

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Passengers board a Ryanair passenger plane. Photo by Ulrich Baumgarrten via Getty Images

Ryanair will fully suspend its flight schedule to/from and within Italy, following the Italian Government's decision to lock the country down in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, it says.

Cuts will kick in from midnight on Wednesday, March 11 for domestic flights, and from midnight Friday, March 13 for international flights to/from Italy.

All affected passengers have received emails informing them of flight cancellations, Ryanair says.

British Airways has reportedly also cancelled flights between Italy and the UK. Aer Lingus, which has slashed its Italy routes, is expected to shortly follow suit.

If an airline cancels a flight for any reason, it must offer passengers a re-routing, credit or full refund (see here for a full list of passenger rights).

The drastic cuts come as Italy takes unprecedented steps to contain the spread of coronavirus not just in the north of the country, but throughout its regions.

On March 9, its government declared that the whole country is now in isolation, and Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today upgraded its travel advice to the highest warning level - red.

"Until further notice, and while the isolation measures are in effect, we are advising that citizens do not travel to Italy," it says.

"Irish citizens in Italy who are obliged to move around, are advised to carry a self-declaration form, available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, that indicates their motive for doing so.

"This form may be requested by police. Everyone in Italy is required to have this form if requested," it adds.

At present, Italian airports are open, the DFA says, and tourists returning home are permitted to travel to airports and to leave the country. Tourists should also complete this self-declaration form before travelling to the airport.

Ryanair is the largest airline operating in the Italian market.

Passengers looking for repatriation can obtain a free move to an earlier Ryanair flight operating up until midnight on Friday, March 13, the airline said in a statement.

"Ryanair continues to comply fully with WHO and national Government guidance and travel bans," it added.

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