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Italy has decided to significantly scale down passenger operations in Rome’s two international airports in a bid to contain the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Airport authority Aeroporti di Roma announced that the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, the main airport of the city, will close Terminal 1 from 17 March.

However, Terminal 3 will continue to remain operational.

Rome’s Ciampino Airport will shut down its passenger terminal from 14 March. However, general aviation activities and cargo operations will continue as normal.

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According to Aeroporti di Roma, the decision was taken after several airlines reduced the number of flights that usually operate from both these airports in Rome.

The operator added that normal operations at the two airports will resume after the health emergency is over.

Italy is one of the worst affected countries by the Covid-19 coronavirus, reporting more than 15,000 confirmed cases and around 1,016 fatalities.

Many foreign carriers, including easyJet and British Airways, have completely cut travel links due to the rapid spread of the disease, reported Reuters.

The situation further worsened after the US decided to suspend passenger travel from most of continental Europe this week.

Earlier this week, the Italian Prime Minister tightened the country’s lockdown in an attempt to prevent the coronavirus from further spreading. The government also allocated $28.3bn towards supporting the economy.

Meanwhile, the global Covid-19 death toll crossed 4,942, while more than 133,800 people are affected by the disease.