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  • The US State Department and Center for Disease Control have issued travel warnings for Italy amid the spread of COVID-19. 
  • The European country currently has the highest number of novel coronavirus cases outside of Asia, with more than 200 infected, and six deaths. 
  • The State Department issued a level two warning for Italy back in January stemming from terrorism concerns. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Center for Disease Control issued a travel warning for Italy, after more then 200 cases of the novel COVID-19 were discovered in the northern region of the country. 

At least six people have died from the virus. The CDC issued a level 2 warning, urging Americans who are “high risk travellers” to reconsider “non-essential” travel. Older individuals or those pre-existing conditions should try and avoid travel to the country. 

Additionally, while the CDC is not recommending an entire ban on travel, it does encourage travelers to avoid people who are sick and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer more frequently. 

The CDC also stated that those who have been in Italy in the past two weeks and develop any respiratory symptoms, should seek medical help. 

More than 2 million Americans visited Italy in 2016, according to the European Travel Information and Authorization System. 

In January, the US State Department issued a level two travel warning for the country due to terrorism concerns.

The US Embassy in Rome issued a notice on Monday due to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

The message stated that routine visa services in the Milan Consulate would be suspended until March 2 due to staff shortages. The majority of COVID-19 cases were discovered in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, which are close to the popular tourist cities of Milan and Venice. 

Insider previously reported that Italy has placed a dozen cities on lock down to combat the spread. The lockdown prevents 500,000 people from leaving the region. 

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