The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added Italy to its Alert Level 2 list, joining Iran and Japan, two countries with similar outbreaks of coronavirus.
“These destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel,” the CDC says about the three countries.
Italy is the country with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases at 374 as of Wednesday morning, according to Worldometers. It is currently behind South Korea, which has 1,261 cases, and mainland China, which has the majority of cases at 78,073. The CDC is currently recommending people avoid “all nonessential travel” to both China and South Korea.
The U.S. State Department matched the CDC's warning on Wednesday, issuing a new Level 2 Warning for Italy that tells travelers to use "increased caution in Italy due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 and terrorism." Level 2 Warnings do not tell travelers to avoid going to Italy.
"At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Italy," the State Department's warning reads.
The State Department is advising travelers who are going to Italy to "follow Italian health official guidance and avoid government-designated affected areas" and follow the U.S. embassy's latest alerts "for additional information regarding COVID-19 in Italy."
On Sunday, Italian officials confirmed the number of coronavirus cases in the country had risen above 150, the largest single outbreak outside of Asia and the first official outbreak in Europe. Most of the cases are in the northern region of Lombardy.
Since the news, Venice has canceled its annual Carnival as the Italian government quarantined some towns in the region.