Daily Express

Britons face 14- hour road trips home as airlines halt flights

- By Mark Reynolds

UP to 20,000 Britons are stranded in Italy and face the prospect of having to make it home by road or rail.

All major airlines – including British Airways, easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair – cancelled flights in and out of the country amid the coronaviru­s chaos.

Italy stepped up their national lockdown last night with the government ordering all shops apart from food stores and chemists to close.

Bars, hairdresse­rs and other nonessenti­al outlets were told to shut. Restaurant­s must close unless there is one metre between customers.


Meanwhile, UK passengers claimed they were “dumped” in cities and ski resorts as the travel mayhem spread.

A typical drive from Milan to London takes around 14 hours.

The Italian government has warned that tourists in the country should “limit their movements to those required for returning home”.

Many travellers spoke of their “panic” at the cancellati­on of flights. Some facing the long drive were stunned borders were still freely open.

One tweeted: “What’s amazing is you can leave the north of Italy and drive through France and Spain without being stopped.”

Samantha Thomas booked a taxi to Austria. She said: “I feel absolutely betrayed. Our UK Government has not helped playing the virus down, saying don’t panic but it’s clearly out of control here in Italy and we have no idea how to get out.”

British skiers in Italian resorts also accused holiday companies of failing to provide them with adequate informatio­n. All winter sports resorts in the country have closed.

Crystal, Britain’s biggest ski operator, said that it was also cancelling all holidays for the remainder of the season at three French resorts – Les Orres, Montgenevr­e and Serre Chevalier – that border Italy.

Tour operators were considerin­g bussing holidaymak­ers out of Italian resorts and through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to catch planes from France.

Public Health England said that flights from Italy to the UK should warn passengers before take- off that they would have to self- isolate.

A medic in the coronaviru­s hotspot of Lombardy has said they are being overwhelme­d by a “tsunami” of cases.

 ??  ?? A health worker tends to a woman at a tented facility in a Brescia hospital in Italy
A health worker tends to a woman at a tented facility in a Brescia hospital in Italy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom