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Coronavirus: Holidaymakers could be stranded in Italy and Tenerife by easyJet and Jet2

Tom McArthur
Page editor
(Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

UK holidaymakers could be left stranded as a number of airlines are ramping up cancellations and pausing flights unless passengers are cleared of the coronavirus.

EasyJet (EZJ.L) announced that it is cancelling some flights as a result of the outbreak, including that to and from Italy. Some staff have been offered unpaid leave, according to the Mirror.

It said that due to the increased number of coronavirus cases in Northern Italy, it has seen "a significant softening of demand and load factors into and out of our Northern Italian bases. Further, we are also seeing some slower demand across our other European markets.”

READ MORE: Europe’s economy braces for coronavirus hit as market panic grips

"As a result we will be making decisions to cancel some flights, particularly those into and out of Italy, while continuing to monitor the situation and adapting our flying programme to support demand,” it added.

"While it is too early to determine what the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will be on current year outlook and guidance for both the Airline and Holidays business, we continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update the market in due course."

EasyJet's shares have dropped 30% since Monday, down to 1,110p:

easyJet shares. Chart: Yahoo Finance

Meanwhile, fellow UK airline Jet2, owned by Dart Group (DTG.L), has refused to fly back any people who have been staying at a hotel in coronavirus lockdown until they have tested negative for the virus.

Currently, there are around 168 Brits remain confined to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife after at least four guests were diagnosed with the illness. Around 50 of them were reportedly told by Spanish authorities they were free to leave on Thursday, if they wished.

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In a statement sent to Yahoo Finance UK the airline said: “We are continuing to remain in contact with customers at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife, and we also have designated 24/7 telephone assistance in place.

“Their health and safety is our absolute priority, as it is with every single one of our customers and colleagues. Therefore, to help prevent any potential spread of coronavirus, we have asked all customers to remain in the hotel, which remains under quarantine, until any potential incubation period, as defined by the World Health Organisation, has passed (10 March).

"We will not fly any customer who has stayed at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace during the quarantine, until this incubation period has passed or unless they have been explicitly tested for COVID-19 by a recognised authority and are confirmed as clear of the virus.

We will continue to release more information as it becomes available.”

Shares in Dart Group are down around 5% on Friday morning:

Dart Group shares. Chart: Yahoo Finance

What’s the current travel advice?

Since developments there are developments on the coronavirus happening daily, it’s worth checking your carrier’s website regularly to see if your flight is still running.

It is also essential to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for updates.

The FCO currently is warning against all essential travel to 11 quarantined towns in Italy and two cities in South Korea and mainland China. This could be set to change.

Britain’s Department of Health also warns that travellers should call the NHS 111 helpline and self-quarantine themselves at home if they have returned from FCO-specified parts of Italy as well as those who have returned in the past 14 days from Hubei Province in China.

It is also worth checking with the company you work with if there are international flight restrictions.

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