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11 Mar 2020 | 10:47 AM UTC

US: Delta Airlines to suspend flights to Italy, Israel March 10 /update 21

Delta Airlines suspends service to Rome (Italy) and Tel Aviv (Israel) March 10 due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreak; confirm flight reservations



Delta Airlines representatives announced on Tuesday, March 10, that the airline would be suspending all service to Italy and Israel due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Delta will suspend its route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) starting on Saturday, March 14, until Wednesday, March 25.

Delta is also suspending its flights from JFK to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) from Wednesday, March 11, through Thursday, April 30. This was Delta's only remaining route to Italy following a previous announcement that service between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and FCO will be suspended through April 30, flights from JFK to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) will be suspended through May 20, and flights from JFK to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) will be suspended through May 21. Additionally, Delta's seasonal Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)-FCO route, which was originally scheduled to begin April 1, will be delayed to May 1.

As of March 11, there have been 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Israel, and more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the virus, including 631 related deaths, in Italy. To date, there have been more than 1000 confirmed cases of the virus in the US, including 31 related deaths.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.