The coronavirus outbreak in Italy is moving south as Sicily confirmed its first case.
The number of confirmed cases in Italy has now risen abocve 280, making it the hardest hit nation in Europe.
Authorities reported that a woman had tested positive for the virus in Sicily, the first case south of Rome. Regional governor Nello Musumeci said the tourist, from Lombardy, had been hospitalised in Palermo.
With the death toll increasing to seven, authorities have ramped up preventative measures in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A number of towns in northern Italy have been placed on lockdown, with schools closed and cultural events cancelled across the region.
Venice Carnival has been cancelled while a number of upcoming matches in italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors this week.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “I am confident we will have a containing effect in the coming days” adding that the health service was “among the most rigorous and efficient in the world”.
European health ministers are expected to meet in Rome today with the EU’s health commissioner and other health officials.
The virus is spreading across Europe as Austria and Croatia today confirmed its first cases.
The British government has advised that all travellers returning from Northern Italy to self-isolate even if they do not have coronavirus symptoms.
Two schools in Cheshire have closed after students returned from half-term ski trips in Italy, according to Sky News.
Cransley School in Northwich said the closure would remain in place for the rest of the week in order to “completely minimise” the risk of infection. Students and staff at the school visited Bormio, northern Italy, last week and have been advised to self-isolate.