Before we travel, I always register my trip with STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). You can find out more information at . By doing this, I learn where the nearest embassy is, what to do if I lose my passport, and so much more. Another thing I receive are travel alerts from STEP about countries I have traveled to in the past or will be traveling to in the near future.

With all the information about the latest coronavirus, this alert came into my email this week. It’s just good information to know before you travel.

Exercise increased caution in Italy due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 and terrorism.

A novel (new) coronavirus disease, recently designated as COVID-19 and also known as the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Many COVID-19 cases have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case. Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Italy. Italian government authorities are working to identify how and where these people were infected. The CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Italy . At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Italy.

Italy remains a Level-Two based on the longstanding risk presented by terrorist groups, who continue plotting possible attacks in Italy. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page . If you decide to travel to Italy: