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An Australian woman caught in the “red zone” of Italy’s corona virus reveals how she escaped

Australian au pair caught in the red zone of Italy’s corona virus reveals how her journey of a lifetime became a nightmare – before she fled across the border to Switzerland

  • Arielle Turnbull arrived in Verano Brianza in January, 45 minutes north of Milan
  • Two weeks ago she fled across the border to Switzerland because of the fear of coronvirus
  • Mrs. Turnbull said she was lucky to get out before strict quarantine rules were imposed
  • The 18-year-old is worried about the friends she left behind when she fled

A young Brisbane woman who works as an au pair in northern Italy is relieved to flee the country before it was closed when coronavirus turned her journey of a lifetime into a nightmare.

Arielle Turnbull, 18, fled across the border to Switzerland after arriving in Italy on January 3 for an au pair adventure in the small town of Verano Brianza, about 45 minutes north of Milan.

Because Italy became the world’s largest coronavirus hub after China and the country came to a halt, it had no choice but to leave Verano Brianza.

Arielle Turnbull fled across the border to Switzerland after arriving in Italy on January 3 for an au pair adventure in the small town of Verano Brianza, about 45 minutes north of Milan due to coronavirus

Arielle Turnbull fled across the border to Switzerland after arriving in Italy on January 3 for an au pair adventure in the small town of Verano Brianza, about 45 minutes north of Milan due to coronavirus

Turnbull crossed the Swiss-Italian border two weeks ago to the city of Chiasso and says she was lucky to get out before strict quarantine regulations were imposed on the northern Italian region of Lombardy.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte detained the entire country on Monday and prohibited all but the most important cross-border journeys. Lombardy is expected to remain in quarantine until 3 April.

“I was lucky to leave when I did, but everyone emphasizes, even my new guest mum keeps saying,” Don’t leave the house, don’t go to Italy, “she told AAP on Tuesday.

“Everyone is very scared, especially for their older parents.”

Mrs Turnbull, who subsequently worked as an au pair in Switzerland, said that many of her friends were stuck in Italy or had already left.

Her host family became frightened after returning from a trip to Venice on February 25 when the corona virus spread dramatically throughout Italy.

Italy became the world's largest coronavirus hub after China and the country came to a halt. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

Italy became the world's largest coronavirus hub after China and the country came to a halt. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

Italy became the world’s largest coronavirus hub after China and the country came to a halt. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

“The family was so scared that they had to let me stay in my room. I couldn’t even hug the children when I left, “Mrs. Turnbull said.

“It just hit me like a ton of rocks, it was like the world is coming to an end.”

Mrs. Turnbull comes home to Brisbane on Wednesday evening after booking flights on Sunday.

“I was so sad, I cried all day Sunday because I was so destroyed,” she said.

“I couldn’t sleep and I kept banging on my pillow, but now that Italy is closed, I know I’ve made the right decision.”

When she arrives in Brisbane, she starts a 14-day self-isolation period.

Turnbull fled two weeks ago from Verano Brizanza, in Italy, to Chiasso, in Switzerland

Turnbull fled two weeks ago from Verano Brizanza, in Italy, to Chiasso, in Switzerland

Turnbull fled two weeks ago from Verano Brizanza, in Italy, to Chiasso, in Switzerland

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte detained the entire country on Monday and prohibited all but the most important cross-border journeys. Lombardy is expected to remain in quarantine until 3 April

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte detained the entire country on Monday and prohibited all but the most important cross-border journeys. Lombardy is expected to remain in quarantine until 3 April

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte detained the entire country on Monday and prohibited all but the most important cross-border journeys. Lombardy is expected to remain in quarantine until 3 April

Mrs. Turnbull said seeing her father would be a silver lining of her return to Brisbane, but the couple will not be able to spend time together because her father’s diabetes increases his risk of coronavirus.

Unwell at the moment, she is not sure if she can be a courier, but hopes that everything will be clearer when she arrives in Australia.

“I’m so sad I can’t spend time with my family, my father is like my best friend and he was sad that I had to shorten my travels,” Turnbull said.

More than 460 people died of coronavirus in Italy from more than 9,000 cases.

Mrs. Turnbull said she was lucky to get out before strict quarantine rules were imposed. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

Mrs. Turnbull said she was lucky to get out before strict quarantine rules were imposed. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

Mrs. Turnbull said she was lucky to get out before strict quarantine rules were imposed. Pictured: people wearing masks in Sydney

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