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Austria closes border to visitors from Italy amid Covid-19 fears

Some exceptions will be made for people with medical notes.

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The border crossing to Italy in Gries am Brenner on Tuesday (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

The border crossing to Italy in Gries am Brenner on Tuesday (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

The border crossing to Italy in Gries am Brenner on Tuesday (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Austria’s chancellor says the country is barring travellers from Italy from entering.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said exceptions will be made for those with medical notes and authorities will help repatriate Austrians from Italy.

Malta has suspended all flights into and out of Italy.

Austria, the UK and Ireland have issued travel advisories for the whole country as Italy’s extraordinary anti-Covid 19 lockdown looked set to isolate the country inside and out.

Austria Virus Outbreak
A policeman selects a car coming from Italy at the autobahn near Gries am Brenner (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Maltese prime minister Robert Abela announced that until further notice, flights to and from Italy would be suspended and ships from Italy would only be allowed to dock if they were carrying cargo, food or medicine.

Mr Abela said the cruise ship MSC Grandiosa, which was to dock in Malta on Tuesday would not be allowed in since it just came from Palermo in Italy.

Austria issued a full travel warning for Italy to “urgently recommend” that Austrian travellers return home.

Britain and Ireland advised against all non-essential travel.

Germany’s national disease control institute, is describing all of Italy as a “risk area”.

PA