Millions of Trips Are at Risk as British Airlines Cancels Flights and Fresh Cases Are Reported Across Europe From Norway to Greece and on Every Continent Except Antarctica

AS Roma fans wearing face masks inside the stadium before the match amid concern following a coronavirus outbreak in Italy

The holiday plans of millions of Britons could be at risk after the number of coronavirus cases around the world overtook China for the first time.

Brazil yesterday reported its first patient with the illness, which means the virus has now spread to every continent except Antarctica.

Cases were also diagnosed for the first time in Greece, North Macedonia, Georgia and Pakistan.

British Airways yesterday cancelled dozens of flights to Milan due to a drop in demand.

And fresh cases in Spain, France, Croatia, Austria and Switzerland sparked industry fears that people may choose not to go on holiday.

Italy has emerged as the epicentre of a European outbreak with 50 more cases, including eight children, reported yesterday – taking the country’s toll to 458. Twelve patients have died.

The developments came as guidance issued to airlines by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency warned passengers not to fly if they have a cough or cold.

Experts fear Europe’s outbreak could have a devastating effect on the tourism industry with airlines worldwide facing up to a £23billion loss because of the virus.

In Italy, the worst-affected areas are Lombardy, which includes Milan, and Veneto, which covers Venice, and Emilia-Romagna.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to 11 affected towns in the north of the country.

However holidaymakers travelling to other Italian cities and nearby countries have expressed fears that if they cancel flights they will not be entitled to refunds.

Refunds will only apply to those whose holidays are disrupted when the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel.

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Source: Daily Mail