Coronavirus: UK government says flights from China still allowed as UK cases rise to 9

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, with the Government advising flights from China will still be allowed to land. (Getty Images)

Flights from China will still be allowed to land in the UK, a day after a ninth coronavirus case was confirmed in the country.

The government upgraded COV-19 to a “serious and imminent threat to public health” on Monday.

After a woman tested positive for the infection on Wednesday, the department of health and social care said the risk to the public had not changed, and that the NHS was "well prepared to deal with coronavirus".

On Thursday, the government advised flights to the UK from China are allowed to proceed - but the policy will be monitored based on updates from the World Health Organization (WHO).

A woman wearing a face mask packs her suitcase in the departures area of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, after it was announced British Airways has suspended all services to and from China. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)

A statement, which is part of a Q&A on the UK Government website, reads: “We have no current plans to restrict entry to the UK, but we will keep this constantly under review and follow WHO guidance.

“The UK is not taking special measures regarding arrivals of any nationality from China beyond standard entry procedures.

“However, if you believe you may have been exposed to coronavirus or been in contact with another person exhibiting flu-like symptoms, you may wish to take precautions and self-quarantine for a minimum 7 days, also informing anyone you might be living with of your concerns.”

Read more:
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More than 50 countries around the world have banned flights from China in a bid to contain the spread of COV-19, including:

Australia

The Australian government has extended its travel ban on people who have travelled through China.

The ban, initially set for 14 days and due to expire on Saturday, was extended on Thursday on the advice of Australia’s health authorities and the national security committee.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family are exempt from the ban.

Travellers seen wearing surgical masks as they exit the arrival hall area at Hong Kong international airport (AP)

Hong Kong

Hundreds of flights between mainland Chinese cities and Hong Kong have been cancelled as a 14-day mandatory quarantine measure came into effect on 8 February.

Passengers who have been in mainland China in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter if their permitted stay in Hong Kong is less than 14 days.

Travellers who have been in mainland China in the past 14 days or arriving from mainland China are subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days.

Travellers wearing face masks line up at the Air China check-in desk at San Francisco International Airport (Sipa USA)

United States

As of 6 February, non-nationals or non-residents who have been in mainland China in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the US.

For those allowed entry that have been in mainland China in the past 14 days must arrive at one of the designated airports.

These include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York (JFK or Newark), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington Dulles.

British Airways have halved the number of flights to Hong Kong (AP)

On Thursday afternoon, British Airways confirmed it had halved the number of flights between London Heathrow and Hong Kong due to a drop in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesman for the airline said: “To match demand we are merging our two daily services to and from Hong Kong from February 13.

“We are contacting affected customers about the very slight timing change. They still have the option to take a full refund or rebook to a later date. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”