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Ryanair to suspend flights to Italy as country goes into lockdown

Ryanair has announced the suspension of its full flight schedule to/from and within Italy, following the decision of the Italian Government to “lock down” the entire country to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

From midnight on Wednesday, Ryanair will suspend all Italian domestic flights. The company will suspend all Italian international flights on midnight on Friday. The measures will be in place until April 8th.

Residents of Ireland should not travel to any part of Italy unless it is absolutely necessary due to the risk of coronavirus infection, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said on Tuesday.

The movements of Italy’s population of 60 million is being severely limited after the lockdown area was extended to the whole of Italy last night, not just the most severely affected areas of the north.

On Monday night Italy’s death toll from the virus jumped by 97 to 463.

Mr Coveney said while the Government can advise Irish citizens not to travel to Italy “we cannot control a country in lockdown” and could not stop Italian citizens from travelling to Ireland.

There are no experts on the virus as it was unknown prior to nine weeks ago, he said. “We are trying to understand more each day,” the Minister told RTÉ Radio this morning.