On March 9, 2020, the Italian government placed the whole country on lockdown to better counter the coronavirus Covid-19 epidemic. Airlines were forced to interrupt their routes or reduce their frequencies towards the airports of the country.

Public gatherings were already banned in certain provinces of Northern Italy, the region most affected by the epidemic. Only journeys qualifying as “duly verified professional requirements, emergency situations, or for health reasons” were authorized. But after the death toll rose by 133 in a day, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the measures would apply to the whole country from March 9, until at least April 4, 2020.

As a result, most carriers with routes towards Italy have modified their flight plans, by either reducing capacity or suspending the routes. For example, airBaltic suspended all flights to and from Rome starting on March 10 and to and from Tel Aviv from March 11, until the end of May. As for Ryanair, it suspended all Italian domestic flights to and from Bergamo, Malpensa, Parma, and Treviso. Royal Air Maroc, Air Algérie, Tunisair, Finnair, Delta Air Lines, and many more took similar measures. 

Within the European Union, a number of governments have also applied travel bans, including Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, and Romania.