March 10 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Joshua Berlinger, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Sheena McKenzie, CNN

Updated 0215 GMT (1015 HKT) March 11, 2020
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9:28 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Global travel slowdown means lots of deals

From CNN's Shivani Vora

Coronavirus has no doubt put the travel industry into a tailspin.

Airlines alone could lose $113 billion in sales if the virus continues to spread, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines sit parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 5.
Aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines sit parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 5. Credit: Justin Chin/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hotels, too -- both big brands like Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels as well as small family-run properties -- are hurting as reserved guests cancel their stays for fear of traveling and don't rebook.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and the founder of Atmosphere Research Group, estimates that hotels could lose more than $30 billion worldwide because of coronavirus.

But while the outbreak's trajectory has been speedy, there is a windfall for travelers: substantially reduced airfares and free extras at hotels and from tour operators that are worth hundreds of dollars -- even during the upcoming peak summer travel season.

Read the full story here

9:18 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

The Pope asks priests to keep visiting sick Catholics

From CNNs Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis waves from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 8.
Pope Francis waves from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 8. Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis during mass today said that he has asked priests to have the courage to visit those sick with coronavirus.

Here's how he put it:

“Let us pray to the Lord for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out to the sick, bringing them the strength of the Word of God and the Eucharist and accompany health workers, volunteers in this work that they are doing.” 

Pope Francis is live-streaming from his private residence every morning.

9:04 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

As China puts on show of confidence, Italy restricts its 60 million citizens

More than two months after the coronavirus outbreak emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, President Xi Jinping has put on a major show of confidence by visiting the stricken epicenter.

The spread of the epidemic has basically been contained in the country, Xi said during his tour, adding that after hard work from authorities the situation is now gradually improving.

The president's visit marks a significant moment in the global outbreak, with new cases of the virus slowing to a trickle in the country where the disease first emerged.

At its worst, Hubei province was reporting thousands of new cases per day. But on Monday, China's National Health Commission announced only 17 new cases in the province.

Meanwhile, Europe is grappling with a growing outbreak.

In an unprecedented and potentially legally fraught move, the whole of Italy is under lockdown.

The country has the highest number of confirmed cases outside China, at 9,172, and 463 deaths.

The drastic measures include blanket travel restrictions, a ban on public events, the closure of schools and public spaces such as movie theaters, and the suspension of religious services including funerals or weddings.

Police officers check travelers at the Venice Santa Lucia railway station on Tuesday.
Police officers check travelers at the Venice Santa Lucia railway station on Tuesday. Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

Nearby Spain has also seen a rapid rise in confirmed cases to 1,204 and 28 deaths. As of Wednesday, schools and universities in the heavily-hit Basque Country will be suspended.

Top-flight football matches in the country will also be played to empty stadiums for the next two weeks, in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.

The European Parliament is also cancelling "non-core" activities -- including things like committee hearings, seminars, cultural events, and election observation missions.

Elsewhere, Iran continues to see its number of cases rise -- now more than 8,000 with almost 300 deaths. It's the second-highest number of cases outside of China, after Italy, and the Middle East country has suspended Friday prayers for two weeks running to cope with the spread.

9:02 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Playing sport in Italy? Remember to keep a one-meter distance from others

From CNN's John Sinnott

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus Monday, with a sporting ban put in place until April 3.

Italian clubs in UEFA competitions -- such as Juventus’ Champions League tie against Lyon -- are still eligible to be play matches behind closed doors, as are international friendlies involving Italy.

Sporting facilities can also be used for training in a closed door capacity by professional athletes or non-professionals recognized by the country’s Olympic committee.

Italy is under lockdown as the spread of the virus intensifies, with all public gatherings banned, schools shut and public services suspended.

A total of 463 people have died, the highest number outside mainland China.

Anyone taking part in outdoor sport or physical activity has been told to keep a one-meter distance from others.

Meanwhile, AC Milan announced it will donate $284,000 (€250,000) to relief efforts tackling the virus, as well as reimbursing fans who were not able to attend games that took place closed doors.

“There are more important things in life than football,” said club CEO Ivan Gazidis.
“On behalf of the Club, I am proud to support the admirable efforts put in place by all those who are working to deal with this emergency. The health and safety of our loved ones is our top priority.”

Serie A had already announced that all games would be played behind closed doors until April 3.

The latest sporting competitions to be impacted by the coronavirus include the prestigious Indian Wells tennis tournament, which has been canceled, and the Olympic torch lighting ceremony, which has been closed to the public.

Professional sports leagues in the US are also restricting locker room access indefinitely, and measures have also been taken to combat the spread of the disease during March Madness.

8:47 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Harvard asks students not to come back to campus after spring break

Harvard University will begin transitioning to online classes by March 23, the first day of classes after spring break, due to challenges posed by the novel coronavirus, Harvard's President Lawrence S. Bacow announced today.

Students are asked to not to return to campus after the break in order “to protect the health” of the community.

Bascow said in a statement that “the decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly.”

“To our students, especially those of you graduating this year, I know that this is not how you expected your time at Harvard to end. We are doing this not just to protect you but also to protect other members of or community who may be more vulnerable to this disease than you are,” he added.

 

8:44 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Do you have a question about coronavirus?

Ask it here — we'll be answering some of your questions through out the day.

8:37 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

American Airlines is also cutting international and domestic flights during the outbreak

From CNN’s Pamela Boykoff and Clare Sebastian

American Airlines just announced additional schedule changes because of decreased travel demand due to the coronavirus.

The airline will cut international capacity for the summer peak by 10%, including a 56% cut in trans-Pacific flight capacity.

The airline will also reduce is domestic flight capacity by 7.5%, according to a news release

Moments ago, Delta Air Lines it will cut its international flights by 20% and 25% and domestic flights by 10% to 15%.

8:40 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

From Dublin to the Maldives, coronavirus is a massive threat to the tourism industry

From CNN’s Barry Neild

The headlines focus on quarantined cruise ships and shuttered Disney Parks but what about the rest of the tourism industry?

The short answer: it’s facing serious trouble. The closure of Italy’s borders effectively sequesters the world’s fifth most popular tourism destination -- cutting it off from its 62 million annual visitors and the 13% contribution they make to its economy.

Other closures, quarantines and cancellations keep rolling in -- Dublin St. Patrick’s Day, a luxury Maldives Resortfestivals. At the sharp end are the tens of thousands of small businesses -- hotels, taxi drivers, restaurants -- now battling for survival. 

Places like Egypt, where tourism is only just recovering from a downturn caused by political turmoil, or Australia, recently ravaged by bushfires, can ill afford another crisis.

And then there are the millions worldwide who, having dreamed of an escape during months of hard toil, will now be denied it, and will possibly lose the money they’ve already forked out for it. 

Of course, plenty of destinations are still unaffected, raising questions over whether it’s still right to travel. In many cases, it’s probably OK so long as government advice says it is -- and there's some great deals to be found. But for those traveling from a location with coronavirus, there’s the added conundrum of whether you’re putting others at risk.

Coronavirus is hitting the travel industry hard:

8:26 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Delta cuts international and domestic flights because of lack of demand

From CNN’s Chris Isidore

Delta Air Lines is the latest US airline to slash its schedule to adjust for the sharp decline in bookings during the coronavirus outbreak.

Delta executives said it will cut its international flights between 20% to 25%. It's also making a 10% to 15% cut in domestic flights.

"We are prepared to do more as the situation evolves," said CEO Ed Bastian at JP Morgan’s Industrials Conference.