Coronavirus Impact: How COVID-19 is Affecting Travel in the EMEA Region
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Coronavirus: How Europe, the Middle East and Africa Are Affected

Passengers walking on tarmac of Milan Bergamo Airport. Travelers with luggage at apron area of Orio al Serio airport ready to board a Ryanair aircraft
Passengers walking on tarmac of Milan Bergamo Airport. Travelers with luggage at apron area of Orio al Serio airport ready to board a Ryanair aircraft | ? bestravelvideo / Alamy Stock Photo
New cases of COVID-19 are being reported across Europe, as the virus continues to spread.

For extra information, check out Coronavirus Explained and Travel Advice, and our developing regional coverage of the Asia-Pacific region and South, Central and North America. For Northern Italy, read Culture Trip’s coverage of how Milan is keeping calm, while Venice is dealing with the threat to its tourism industry.

UPDATE: 13 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 13 March 2020, Italy, Iran, Spain and France have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 numbering 17,660, 11,364, 4,334 and 3,661, respectively. There have been 1,266 deaths reported in Italy, 514 in Iran, 122 in Spain and 61 in France, according to the Worldometers.info website, which compiles data from the World Health Organization and other health agencies.

Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization said Europe, not China, is now the epicentre of the world’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that “more cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic”.

What’s happening in Italy?

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy has risen to 1,266 – an increase of 250 in a day, officials say.

The 25% hike is the largest rise in absolute terms since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The total number of cases in Italy, the worst hit in Europe, has increased by 17%, from 15,113 to 17,660, Sky News reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran’s security forces will empty the streets of its cities in the next 24 hours in an effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency IRNA reported on Friday.

Iran is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, with a death toll of 514, and a total of 11,364 diagnosed infections, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Spain?

Spain will be in a state of emergency for the next 15 days to better combat the coronavirus, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, after infections soared to more than 4,300 with 122 dead.

“There will be a cabinet meeting tomorrow to declare a state of alert across the country for a period of 15 days,” Sanchez said.

What’s happening in France?

The French government is moving to ban gatherings of 100-plus people in public places on French territory in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told TF1 TV.

“We are going to pass this limit on gatherings of 100 people,” he told TF1.

***

UPDATE: 12 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 12 March 2020, Italy, Iran, France and Spain have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 numbering 12,462, 10,075, 2,284 and 2,277 respectively. There have been 827 deaths reported in Italy, 429 in Iran, 84 in Spain and 48 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italian authorities announced that Rome’s Ciampino airport would shut from Friday night, with a terminal closing at the city’s main Fiumicino facility next week as airlines reduce flights to Italy because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Ciampino will close at midnight on Friday, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran has reported 75 new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said, bringing the death toll there to 429.

What’s happening in Spain?

Spain’s top-division La Liga football league has become the latest sports association to cancel play in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.

All football matches have been suspended for two weeks, the league’s organising body said in a statement on Thursday.

687 new cases and 29 new deaths have been reported.

What’s happening in France?

France’s coronavirus death toll rose by almost 50 percent to 48, French health minister Olivier Veran said.

President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to talk about coronavirus on national television on Thursday at 1900 GMT.

***

UPDATE: 11 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 11 March 2020, Italy, Iran, France and Spain have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 numbering 10,149, 9,000, 2,174 and 1,784, respectively. There have been 827 deaths reported in Italy, 354 in Iran, 49 in Spain and 33 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in Italy?

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 196 to 827, the largest rise since the contagion came to light in the country on 21 February, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran has now recorded around 9,000 coronavirus cases in the country, nearly 1,000 more cases in one day, Kianush Jahanpur, a health ministry spokesman, said.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has reached 354, a rise of 63 in the past 24 hours, Jahanpur told state TV.

Wednesday’s tally is the highest single-day toll since the start of the outbreak in February.

What’s happening in France?

TheLocal.fr reports on the latest developments concerning travel with France.

What’s happening in Spain?

New measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Spain’s “significant transmission areas” take effect today, with more than 1.5 million students affected in Madrid alone.

All nurseries, schools and universities will remain closed for 15 days in the regions of Madrid (where 3,650 institutions will close) and La Rioja, and the Basque cities of Vitoria and Labastida, CNN reports.

***

UPDATE: 10 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 10 March 2020, Italy, Iran and France have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 numbering 9,172, 8,042, and 1,412, respectively. There have been 463 deaths reported in Italy, 291 in Iran and 30 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italy entered its first day under a nationwide lockdown – set to affect more than 60 million people – after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended restrictions on movement between hard-hit northern regions and the rest of the country. Panic buying erupted, prompting the government to assure citizens that supermarkets will remain open and stocked, AP reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

The coronavirus outbreak has killed 54 more people in Iran in the past 24 hours, the highest toll in a single day since the start of the outbreak in the country.

This raised the death toll to 291 amid 8,042 cases, health ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpur said in a televised conference, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in France?

The death toll in France has risen to 30 from 25 a day earlier, the French public health authority said, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 9 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 9 March 2020, Italy, Iran and France have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 7,375, 7,161, and 1,209, respectively. There have been 366 deaths reported in Italy, 237 in Iran and 21 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in Italy?

Six inmates were killed in a prison riot in Italy and guards were taken hostage at another jail, as unrest spread in prisons across the country over measures to contain the coronavirus, including restrictions on visits.

The head of Italy’s prison administration, Francesco Basentini, said three inmates had died inside a jail in the northern town of Modena, and three others had died after being transferred away from the prison, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran has temporarily released approximately 70,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said, Al Jazeera reports.

595 new cases and 43 new deaths have been reported.

What’s happening in France?

Madonna has cancelled shows in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday due to restrictions imposed over the coronavirus outbreak.

On Sunday, France banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people as the death toll and number of coronavirus infections continued to rise, The Guardian reports.

2 new deaths have been reported.

***

UPDATE: 8 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 8 March 2020, Italy, Iran and France have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 7,375, 6,566, and 1,126, respectively. There have been 366 deaths reported in Italy, 194 in Iran, and 19 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered the lockdown of the country’s northern region of Lombardy and 14 provinces in an effort to tackle Europe’s largest outbreak.

The move places some 16 million people in the new red zones until April 3, Al Jazeera reports.

The areas under lockdown in northern Italy are:
– Lombardy region (entire region, all provinces)
– Piedmont (provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, and Vercelli)
– Veneto (provinces of Padua, Treviso, and Venice)
– Emilia Romagna (provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, and Rimini)
– Marche (province of Pesaro Urbino)

In the quarantined areas, travel in and out, as well as within, will only be possible in response to “duly verified professional requirements, emergency situations, or for health reasons”.

All schools, universities and museums are to be closed, while all cultural, religious or festive events are suspended.

Bars and restaurants can remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. provided they respect the safety distance of at least 1 meter between customers – this provision also concerns other commercial activities.

Places of worship remain open, provided that the safety distance of at least 1 meter is respected, but religious ceremonies (marriage, baptism) are prohibited until further notice.

1,492 new cases and 133 new deaths have been reported in Italy.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran’s health ministry on Sunday reported 49 new deaths from the COVID-19 disease, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in that country.

“At least 194 of our compatriots who fell sick with the COVID-19 illness have passed away,” Iranian health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a televised news conference.

The spokesman added that 743 new diagnosed cases were confirmed, France 24 reports.

What’s happening in France?

France reported three new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, taking the country’s death toll from the outbreak to 19.

As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed cases stood at 1,126, according to health officials. France has also banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people over virus fears, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 7 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 7 March 2020, Italy, Iran and France have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 5,883, 5,823, and 949, respectively. There have been 233 deaths reported in Italy, 145 in Iran, and 11 in France, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s Happening in Italy?

Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of Italy’s Democratic party (PD), which governs the country in coalition with the Five Star Movement (M5S), has tested positive for COVID-19.

Pope Francis will make Sunday blessings via a streaming service from inside the Vatican, instead of appearing in person in St Peter’s Square, to dissuade the faithful from gathering in large masses, The Guardian reports.

Italy has authorised new emergency measures against the spread of the virus, including the lockdown of the entire region of Lombardy. It is possible to enter and exit only in case of emergency.

The Worldometers.info website – which compiles data from the World Health Organisation and other health agencies – says that 1,247 new cases and 36 new deaths in Italy were reported.

What’s Happening in Iran?

The Worldometers.info website reports 1,076 new cases and 21 new deaths in Iran.

What’s Happening in France?

A second member of France’s National Assembly has been taken to hospital after contracting COVID-19, and five other legislators are being tested for the virus, the lower house’s presidency said in a statement, Al Jazeera reports.

296 new cases and 7 new deaths in France have been reported, according to the Worldometers.info website.

***

UPDATE: 6 March 2020

What’s happening in the UK?

The latest figures show there are 163 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK – a rise of 47 and the biggest day-on-day jump.

Two British Airways staff have tested positive for the virus in the UK. The airline said the pair have been isolated and are recovering at home, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in Italy?

Travellers appear to be cancelling new trips to Italy, The Washington Post reports.

According to travel data form ForwardKeys, flight bookings to Italy dropped by nearly 139 percent in the final week of February, in comparison with a year ago. ForwardKeys says that the number of cancellations has exceeded the number of new bookings.

The number of cases in Italy totals 3,858 – the highest in Europe. 148 deaths have been reported to date.

What’s happening in France?

200 new COVID-19 cases in France were confirmed overnight, bringing the total diagnosed cases in the country to 577. The death tally in France is 9.

President Emmanuel Macron urged French citizens to stop visiting the elderly, the latest directive to contain the spread of coronavirus in France, The Washington Post reports.

“Right now, our top priority is to protect the most vulnerable against the virus,” Macron said Friday, visiting a Paris nursing home.

***

UPDATE: 5 March 2020

What’s happening in the UK?

The total number of British coronavirus cases has now risen to 115, an increase of 30 on yesterday, according to the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care.

The Department of Health confirmed that as of 9am on 5 March, 18,083 people have been tested in the UK, of which 17,968 were confirmed negative and 115 were confirmed as positive.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio has accused CNN of “distorting reality” after it published a map of worldwide cases of the coronavirus linked to the country.

Italian authorities say the map, featuring large red arrows sprouting from Italy to other parts of the world, does not highlight other areas struggling with the crisis such as China, Iran, South Korea and Japan, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in France?

French officials have reported two more deaths linked to the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total number to six.

France has also registered 92 new confirmed cases, taking the total to 377, the BBC reports.

What’s happening in Germany?

The number of COVID-19 cases in Germany jumped by 109 within a single day, according to Robert Koch Institute.

As of Thursday morning, there were 349 cases across all but one federal state, up from 240 on Wednesday morning and compared with 262 on Wednesday afternoon, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 4 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 4 March 2020, there are 6,709 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Iran (2,922), Italy (2,502), Germany (244) and France (212) the worst affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

What’s happening in the UK?

The Worldometers.info website reports 34 new cases in the UK: 29 were infected abroad.

The London Book Fair, a major event in the publishing industry and due to take place between 10-12 March, has been cancelled, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italy’s government is set to close cinemas and theatres and ban public events across the whole country to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, according to a draft decree.

The decree, seen by Reuters, orders “the suspension of events of any nature… that entail the concentration of people and do not allow for a safety distance of at least one metre to be respected”, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in France?

France will regulate the price of antibacterial gels after prices were reported to have shot up since the coronavirus outbreak began in December last year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

A decree regulating the price will be published during the day, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Ireland?

The Irish government has decided against cancelling St Patrick’s Day parade plans because of coronavirus, despite calls from a leading virologist, The Irish Times reports.

“If I were in their shoes I would say ‘we must postpone it’ – it’s not the end of the world for one year,” Professor John Oxford from Queen Mary, University of London told RTé radio.

“Don’t have it this year because of the things going on – after all, the Chinese postponed the [mass celebrations for] Chinese New Year, which is immense. They took it so seriously.”

What’s happening in Spain?

TheLocal.Es reports on the latest news on coronavirus in Spain.

***

UPDATE: 3 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 3 March 2020, there are over 5,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Iran (2,336), Italy (2,036), France (204) and Germany (188) the worst affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

What’s happening in Italy?

The Worldometer.info website reports 466 new cases and 27 new deaths in Italy, with 79 deaths to date.

What’s happening in France?

French officials have closed about 120 schools in areas that have reported the largest numbers of coronavirus infections, and more could be closed in the coming days, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Spain?

TheLocal.Es reports on the latest news on coronavirus in Spain.

What’s happening in the UK?

The COVID-19 crisis could lead to a fifth of workers in the UK staying at home, cause the police to drop low-priority cases and force the National Health Service (NHS) to delay non-critical care, according to a government action plan document revealed today.

Meanwhile, Britain is not planning to cancel mass gatherings or large sports events due to concerns about coronavirus, but that legislation would be needed in case action is required in the future, says British secretary of health Matt Hancock, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

The Worldometer.info website reports 835 new cases, 11 new deaths and 144 new recoveries in Iran.

***

UPDATE: 2 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 2 March 2020, there are over 3,361 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (1,694), Iran (978), France (130) and Germany (130) the worst affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

What’s happening in Italy?

Three new cases have been reported in Italy, including that of Alessandro Mattinzoli, councilor for economic development in Lombardy.

What’s happening in France?

The French government warned the effect of the coronavirus will be larger than previous estimates and promised to provide the necessary support to companies. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the impact from the virus will be “much more significant” than the 0.1 percent reduction in growth than forecast, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Spain?

Spanish authorities have ruled out the cancellation of events that draw large crowds, El Pais reports.

On Sunday, Valencia kicked off its famous Fallas celebrations with a pyrotechnics display, attracting thousands to the Mediterranean city ahead of the main events scheduled for 14-19 March.

What’s happening in the UK?

Four more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, according to health officials, taking the total to 40.

What’s happening in Iran?

There are 523 new cases and 12 new deaths in Iran, Deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said in an announcement on state TV.

***

UPDATE: 1 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 1 March 2020, there are over 2,697 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (1,128), Iran (978) and Germany (117) the worst affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Ireland and Czech Republic have become the latest countries across the region to report confirmed cases of coronavirus.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe – announced it will deliver 3.6 billion euros ($4 million) in emergency aid – equivalent to 0.2 percent of the country’s entire economy – to sectors affected by the new coronavirus epidemic, TheLocal.It reports.

The deadly virus has killed 29 people and infected more than 1,000 in the country.

What’s happening in France?

The Louvre in Paris has remained shut amid concerns over France’s coronavirus outbreak.

Staff at the Louvre – the world’s most popular museum, with 10.2 million visitors annually – voted “almost unanimously” not to open on Sunday, the BBC reports.

What’s happening in Spain?

There are 15 new cases in Spain for a total of 79 cases, of which three are in critical condition.

What’s happening in the UK?

The Worldometers.info website reports 12 new cases in the UK:
– 6 had traveled to Italy
– 2 had traveled to Iran
– 3 are close contacts of a known case
– 1 (in Essex) has no travel history and no clear link to cases.

What’s Happening in Iran?

Iran has reported 11 new coronavirus deaths. The outbreak has claimed the lives of 54 people, the health ministry said.

“There were 385 new cases of infected people in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number to 978. The death toll is 54,” Kianush Jahanpur, spokesman for the health ministry said, as Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 29 February 2020

Which countries and areas have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 29 February 2020, there are over 2,193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (1,128), Iran (593) and France (100) the worst affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Iceland, Monaco, Luxembourg and Qatar have become the latest countries across the region to report confirmed cases of coronavirus.

What’s happening in Italy?

239 new cases and 8 new deaths have been reported in Italy. Among the 1,049 active cases, 401 (38%) are hospitalised, and 105 (10%) are in intensive care. Among the 79 closed cases, 50 (63%) have recovered and 29 (37%) have died, according to website Worldometers.info, which compiles data from the World Health Organization and other health agencies.

Five football games in the top-tier division Serie A have been postponed. The games were going to be played behind closed doors, but league officials decided to call them off on Saturday.

What’s happening in France?

43 new cases have been reported in France, bringing the total in the country to 100.

Health Minister Olivier Veran announced that public gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confined space are temporarily banned across France. The Paris half-marathon – due to take place on Sunday, 1 March – has been cancelled.

What’s happening in Spain?

The Worldometers.info website reports 17 new cases across the country.

Current distribution and new cases today (+):

13 in the Valencia area (+5)
10 in Madrid (+5)
8 in Andalusia (+2)
6 in Catalonia (+3)
6 in the Canary Islands
2 in Castile and León
3 in the Basque Country (+1)
2 in the Balearic Islands (+1)

What’s happening in the UK?

There are three new cases in the UK (bringing the total to 23) – one in Gloucestershire, one in Berkshire and one in Hertfordshire. Out of the new cases, one had recently traveled to Italy and one to Asia.

What’s happening in Germany?

There are five new cases in Germany. The German government said that travellers arriving from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran must declare their health status upon arrival, with passengers from China already required to do so.

What’s happening in Iran?

Iran’s Fars News Agency reports that there are 205 new cases and 9 deaths in the country, with 5 Iranian parliament members having so far tested positive for the virus. Azerbaijan has closed its border with the Islamic Republic over coronavirus concerns.

***

UPDATE: 28 February 2020

Which countries and areas have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 28 February 2020, there are over 1,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (655), Iran (338) and Kuwait (48) the most greatly affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, San Marino, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Nigeria have become the latest countries and areas across the EMEA region to report confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What’s happening in Italy?

Forbes reports on airlines cancelling flights to Italy, as COVID-19 spreads. Italy is the European nation worst hit by the outbreak, with its death toll at 17, while the numbers of those diagnosed with coronavirus has risen to 655.

What’s happening in France?

The Guardian reports that a woman from Cannes has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first in the C?té d’Azur region in the south of France. The 23-year-old was admitted to a special isolation unit in the hospital in Nice following a visit to Milan.

What’s happening in the UK?

The Guardian reports that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has increased in the past 24 hours to 19. First cases have been reported in Wales and Northern Ireland.

What’s happening in UAE?

Guests at two hotels in the United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi have been placed under quarantine after interacting with two Italians diagnosed with coronavirus, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 27 February 2020

Which countries and areas have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 27 February 2020, there are 979 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (528), Iran (245) and Kuwait (43) the most greatly affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Greece, North Macedonia, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Romania and Georgia have become the latest European countries to confirm cases of the deadly virus.

What’s happening in Italy?

There are currently 528 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – a rise of 40% in 24 hours. The worst-affected areas are in Italy’s industrial north – Lombardy, the region around Milan, and Veneto, which includes the city of Venice. Coronavirus has killed 12 people in the country so far.

Eleven towns at the epicentre of the outbreak – home to a total of 55,000 people – have been quarantined. The BBC reports there are fears that the outbreak may push the country into economic recession.

What’s happening in France?

French President Emmanuel Macron has described the coronavirus outbreak as a “crisis, an epidemic that is on the way”.

There are now 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in France and two people have died.

What’s happening in Spain?

A total of 15 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in Spain. Most of the cases currently confirmed in Spain are either Italian nationals or people who have travelled from northern Italy, TheLocal.Es reports.

What’s happening in Iran?

The death toll in the Islamic Republic – suffering the highest death toll outside of China – stands at 26 amid 250 cases.

What’s happening in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has announced it is barring foreign pilgrims from entering the country five months before the annual hajj pilgrimage, the Guardian reports. The country has made this unprecedented step despite not reporting any cases of the virus.

***

UPDATE: 26 February 2020

Which countries and areas have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 26 February 2020, there are 585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region, with Italy (322 cases), Iran (139 cases) and Bahrain (23 cases) the most greatly affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Switzerland has become the latest European country to confirm a case of the COVID-19 virus.

What’s happening in Italy?

Italy reported a 45% one-day increase in the number of people infected with COVID-19. Italian officials reported 11 deaths and 322 confirmed cases of the virus, 100 more than a day earlier, AP says.

Italy has closed schools, museums and theatres in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto, while troops are enforcing quarantines for 10 towns in the area.

What’s happening in France?

France reported three new infections, including one new death (that of a French national), bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 17 and the death toll to two, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Spain?

A woman in Barcelona has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first case of coronavirus to be confirmed on the Spanish mainland, TheLocal.Es reports.

The H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, Canary Islands – where an Italian man who has tested positive for coronavirus was staying – remains on lockdown.

What’s happening in Iran?

The Islamic Republic currently has the highest death toll for coronavirus outside of China, with 19 killed amid 139 cases. As AP reports, Iranian health officials are urging citizens to avoid “nonessential travel”, in particular to the hard-hit provinces of the country, among which are Gilan and Qom.

***

UPDATE: 25 February 2020

Which countries and areas have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 25 February 2020, there are 415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EMEA region, with Italy (270), Iran (61) and Germany (16) the greatest affected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US. The death toll from the virus so far stands at fifteen in Iran, seven in Italy and one in France.

Croatia and Austria became the latest European countries to confirm cases of coronavirus.

What are the authorities doing to halt its spread?

Italy – The largest outbreak of the virus in Europe has been in Northern Italy, where authorities have imposed travel restrictions for parts of Lombardy and Veneto.

The Venice Carnival was cancelled from Sunday and all major sporting events – including top-flight soccer matches – have been postponed. Events around Milan Fashion Week are also affected.

The British government has advised those who have been to Northern Italy (north of Pisa) should self-isolate if they develop flu-like symptoms on their return to the UK.

Canary Islands, Spain – The H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in Tenerife, Canary Islands, has been put on lockdown after an Italian guest tested positive for coronavirus.

Iran – As a “preventive measure”, authorities have ordered the closure of schools, universities and other educational centres in 14 provinces, Al Jazeera reports.

The government also announced that “all art and cinema events in halls across the country have been cancelled until the end of the week” in order to stop the spread of infection.

How will this impact my travel to the region?

If you have upcoming travel plans to an affected country, reach out to your airline, hotel or tour operator for more information.

Check the latest guidance on your Rights as a Traveller from the BBC.

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