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Airlines Begin the Waiver Process as Storm Sweeps East

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Virtually every major domestic airline has begun issuing travel waivers in the face of a major snowstorm sweeping across the Midwest, into the Ohio Valley and toward the east coast and New England.

Kansas City International Airport was briefly closed on Friday, and as of Noon on Saturday, airports to the east were beginning to be affected as Chicago O’Hare and Detroit-Metro have each seen 16 percent of their flights canceled or delayed.

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Toronto Pearson has had 13 percent of flights canceled or delayed according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.com

The storm, a combination of snow, sleet and rain, is expected to reach the east coast and New England by late Saturday afternoon.

United, American, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue have all relaxed their change fees for dozens of large and regional airports alike.

That includes the I-95 corridor of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, the New York metro area and Boston.

In the Midwest, airports in Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Moline, Ill., Peoria, Ill., and South Bend, Ind. have been affected, and airlines are waiving fees at those airports as well.

Check with your carrier to see what other destinations your respective airline will waive fees for.

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Parts of Italy Becoming a Focal Point of Coronavirus Outbreak

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With more than 200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and five deaths, Italy has suddenly become a focal point amidst fears of a global outbreak of the virus.

Several towns in northern Italy near Milan were in a virtual lockdown on Monday as Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has banned people from leaving infected areas. Italian police have been ordered to fine anyone caught entering or leaving certain towns – including tourists.

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“Protecting our citizens is the main priority,” said Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. “We are all taking this situation seriously, but without giving in to panic, disorder or disinformation.”

And it’s not just northern Italy.

Roadblocks have been set up to stop people entering or leaving about a dozen Italian towns. In some areas, businesses, schools, universities, museums and tourist attractions have been closed and public events canceled. Venice even cut short its traditional carnivale, shutting down with three days still to go.

In Basilicata, in the southern region of Italy down near the bottom of the boot, Governor Vito Bardi ordered 14-day quarantines for anyone entering the area.

“We are following the situation in Italy very closely and commend the Italian authorities for their swift and efficient action,” Kyriakides said.

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