It is understood that more than 200 Kiwis are currently in Italy, a country about to enter nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus.

In less than three weeks, more than 460 people died in Italy from Covid-19, with active cases reaching nearly 8000.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 206 people had registered with SafeTravel as being in the European country.

"We are aware of Italy's new measures and our advice on SafeTravel is under continuous monitoring and review," an Mfat spokesperson said.


On Tuesday, restriction on movement would be put into effect throughout the entire country, locking down some 60 million people.

Already locked down is the Lombardy region, where Milan is the most prominent city. Kiwis in the region are advised to avoid all non-essential travel.

All airports in Italy are still operational and New Zealand tourists are still permitted to leave the country.

There was a shortage of face masks and there was a fear of a food shortage in the Lecco, Lombardy region, north of Milan, Cristina Castelluccio said.

"Italian government and local authorities are working very hard to keep us updated and safe," Castelluccio said.

"They have issued some basic hygiene warnings on coronavirus and keep us constantly informed, which is a double-edged sword, if you ask me - we hope for the best but prepare for the worst."

"People are getting frantic" about the situation, Castelluccio said.

Elsewhere, in the Piedmont region in north Italy, hockey player/coach David Green said the competition they were in had been stopped until April 3.


The team was forced to play with gates closed to the public and no more than nine people to a changing room over the weekend.

"We obviously travel all over Italy to play and I also travel to coach the team, so I'm pretty much stuck at home," he said.

"My partner has got approval to work from home until the 30th of April. Town is pretty quiet, supermarkets shelves are getting low."

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The advice from Mfat and its SafeTravel website had not changed since yesterday for Kiwis in or looking to travel to Italy.

Who should avoid non-essential travel?


People in, or planning to head to the region of Lombardy (Lombardia), which includes the cities of Milan, Bergamo and Como.

The provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio nell'Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro, Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli, Padova (Padua), Treviso and Venezia (Venice) were also included.

Where should increased caution be exercised?

Everywhere else in Italy, people should exercise increased caution, due to the threat of terrorism, Covid-19 and associated health risks.