A bar in Rome and restaurant in Vietnam have banned Chinese customers and an Italian music school has told its East Asian students not to attend class in ‘racist’ incidents as coronavirus is declared a global health emergency.
It comes as the outbreak spread to 25 countries today, with the United Kingdom and Russia both reporting their first cases, and as many as 9,898 people are infected.
There have been just two cases in Italy, after two Chinese tourists visiting Rome tested positive for the virus, and four cases in Vietnam.
A restaurant in Vietnam put up this sign as coronavirus was declared a global health emergency. The shocking sign was pictured on social media
A sign in a bar in central Rome put up today bans ‘people coming from China’ from entry. Italy has recorded two cases of coronavirus since the outbreak started
Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome (pictured) told students from countries including China, South Korea and Japan not to attend classes following the coronavirus outbreak
A restaurant in Vietnam has put up a sign saying ‘sorry, we can’t accept Chinese customers’, a shocking image posted online reveals.
It was shared by a Twitter user who said: ‘Things are getting a little out of hand in terms of fears of people from China and the coronavirus.’
A bar in central Rome has also sought to deny access to Chinese visitors, putting up a sign that read: ‘Due to international safety measures, all people coming from China are not allowed to have access in this place. We do apologise for any inconvenience.’
And Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome has told all its 81 nationals from East Asian countries including China, South Korea and Japan not to attend class.
The school’s decision sparked a horrified outcry from students, who have rushed to the conservatory to demand answers.
Students have contacted the Chinese Embassy in Rome (pictured) for legal advice
The coronavirus outbreak is centred in China, with 23 other countries also reporting the virus
An email sent to all staff by conservatory director Robert Guiliano reads, reports Italian newspaper La Reppublica: ‘Dear colleagues and dear colleagues, because of the well-known events related to the Chinese epidemic, the lessons of the oriental students (Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc.) are suspended, as well as others who came from the countries concerned.
‘The conservatory doctor will visit them all on Wednesday 5 February at 2.00 pm Only those who pass the visit can be readmitted to attendance.’
One shocked staff member said the director’s message was ‘insane’ and that the music school has never had a doctor.
Two South Korean students outside the school told Italian publication The Local that they have asked to meet with senior directors to discuss their decision but have been ignored.
‘We’ve just seen the director leave the building and walk away,’ said Kim, 25, and Hwang, 24.
‘I haven’t been home to Korea in two years. We’re not against checks in themselves but this is madness – it’s wrong for them to test only Asian students.’
More than 7,000 passengers were kept onboard the Costa Smeralda in Civitavecchia, Rome, yesterday following fears that two passengers had coronavirus
Pictured: A bus leaves the harbour where the Costa Smeralda cruise ship was docked
William, 24, a Chinese student studying opera at the school said the director’s decision was ‘quite racist’, questioning why Chinese students that had not been to their home country for more than six months were being treated differently.
Online, the music school claims to be one of the ‘oldest musical institutions in the world’, tracing its origins back to 1585.
It holds as many as 250 concerts a year with its symphony orchestra and chorus, alongside other groups.
The decision came as the Como conservatory, also in Rome, asked all students returning from trips to China not to come to class for 14 days following their return.
Medical staff in protective suits treat a patient with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has suspended air travel between Italy and China
And a Chinese student at Franco Vittadini Conservatory in Pavia, who recently returned from his home near Wuhan, was asked to keep away from the school for 14 days despite medical tests showing that he did not have the virus.
More than 6,000 students were marooned on a cruise ship at Civitavecchia, north-west Rome, yesterday as two Chinese passengers were tested for coronavirus.
MailOnline has contacted Santa Cecilia for comment.