Coronavirus and Venice - news from the inside - 26th February 2020

Coronavirus, Covid-19, is now sadly affecting all travellers in the world, but it's true that the recent events in Venice drew the attention to our beloved town.

We - at Luxrest Venice - all live and work in Venice, so we're facing day by day the evolution of this monstrous phenomenon.

Since Sunday, when Carnival was suddenly stopped, daily life has been going on quite regularly, despite the fact that schools, museums and churches are closed until the 1st of March. Shops are open, I could do grocery shopping as usual, there are people around, even if less than usual, some with masks, some without (I currently don't wear it, nor any of my family members).

Concerning transportation, ACTV (local transportation company), Trenitalia (national rail service) and all other companies are disinfecting all means of transport on a daily basis.

Directs flights from China are still stopped, but all other routes stay open at the time being. The virus is spreading all over Europe and the world and the flight stop hasn't proved to be of any effect. Our Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, calls for calm and I actually agree, as panic and misinformation surely don't help solving the problem.

These are the latest instruction given by the Italian government to all Italian Regions (I report the main ones, in addition to the school and theatres closed until the 1st of March and the disinfection of public transportation):

- all public areas like schools, public offices, hospitals etc. have to display information on how to prevent contagion and provide to workers and visitors disinfectant gels;

- anyone coming from areas indicated as infected by the WHO in the last 14 days need to report  themselves to the local Health office;

- the local Health office provides isolation and health surveillance of any person infected or at risk of contagion.

Apart from that, if we compare medical data, the mortality rate of coronavirus does not seem much higher than an ordinary flu virus. It's surely a serious issue, we're not writing here to minimise the gravity of this worldwide medical event, but the current data for Italy report a total of 374 infected, 12 deaths (all of them elderly people already having medical problems), out of 10000 swabs. To make a comparison, Austria made 321 swabs up to now.

Without wainting to replace experts, the impression we have here is that serious (perhaps even too cautious) safety measures have been taken, for the good of anyone, but that the message is that everything is out of control.

I'm reporting, for everybody's convenience, the common rules to adopt to prevent contagion:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • people who are well should not wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

If you plan a trip to Venice or if you have already booked a stay with us, feel free to contact us, we'll be happy to provide and share all of the information we have. We constantly check the official news (trying to avoid non official) and follow the directions coming from the Italian government and the Veneto region.