Travellers advised to be "pragmatic" about holiday bookings

People should be “pragmatic” about their holiday bookings because of coronavirus, the Irish Travel Agents Association has urged.

Travellers advised to be

People should be “pragmatic” about their holiday bookings because of coronavirus, the Irish Travel Agents Association has urged.

The ITAA is advising travellers and holidaymakers to follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs when travelling overseas.

ITAA president, John Spollen, described it as “a fast-moving situation". Its advice to travellers is to speak to their travel agent and get good advice from the experts.

“ITAA members are monitoring the situation on behalf of their clients on a day to day, hour to hour basis on what is a fluid situation,” said Mr Spollen.

“We would ask that travellers ensure they have adequate travel insurance, follow the advice of local authorities on the ground and take all preventative measures as recommended,” he said.

Meanwhile, several Irish nationals staying near the hotel at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak on the Canary island of Tenerife have contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The department and the Irish embassy in Madrid are closely monitoring the situation in Tenerife and are in touch with the local health and tourist authorities.

"A number of Irish nationals staying in the area have been in contact directly with us. We are providing consular advice," the department stated.

About 1,000 tourists staying at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel, a popular destination for Irish holidaymakers, were placed in quarantine after an Italian doctor staying there tested positive for the coronavirus.

The doctor is from the Lombardy region where Italian authorities are battling an outbreak.

It is Spain's third case of Covid-19 and the second in the Canary Islands.

A German tourist was quarantined earlier this month on the island of La Gomera and a British citizen in the Mediterranean's Balearic Islands.

Both were released after recovering and showing no further symptoms of the illness.

An Irish man who has been living in the Italian region of Lombardy for the past 10 years says he and his family have stocked up and are planning to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Three more people have been confirmed dead in Italy as the coronavirus continues to spread across Europe. The number of confirmed cases in Italy has risen to 322, the vast majority of them in the north of the country.

Since Sunday more than 50,000 residents in 11 towns in northern Italy have been put under quarantine.

Vincent Healy, from Dublin, lives in a village not far from Milan. His village is in a yellow zone but not in the red zone where people have been told that they must stay at home.

He told Newstalk radio: “Everyone in the satellite towns is working from home. The banks are allowing staff to do smart work. The government is doing a good job locking things down. It makes sense as the only way to spread the virus is through contact.”

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