Initially, the FCO warned to stay away from the epicentre of the virus, Wuhan, where the disease is believed to have been derived from illegal meat trade at a seafood market. However, as the death toll across China creeps higher the government have made the decision to advise against all travel to the country.
“It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so.
“If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.”
At present, the death toll in China sits at 106, with over 4,000 infected so far.
Meanwhile, the virus has managed to surpass its borders, with cases detected in Germany, the United States, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France, Canada, Australia and Sri Lanka.
So far there have been no fatal cases outside of China.
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Public Health England has enforced targeted monitoring within the UK.
Passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan will be tested.
A statement from Public Health England reads: “The enhanced monitoring package includes a number of measures that will help to provide advice to travellers if they feel unwell.”
“For those travelling back directly from Wuhan, this includes a Port Health team who will meet each direct flight aircraft to provide advice and support to those that feel unwell.
“The team will include the Principal Port Medical Inspector, Port Health Doctor, Administrative Support, and Team Leader.
“They will check for symptoms of coronavirus and provide information to all passengers about symptoms and what to do if they become ill.”
UK long-haul airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are allowing travellers the option to cancel or reschedule flights free of charge, despite any terms and conditions at the time of booking.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “We’re closely monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus and will always follow the guidance set out by relevant authorities.”