January 29, 2020
British Airways has suspended all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect after the Foreign Office warned against “all but essential travel” to the country because of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus Latest: BA Suspends Flights To And From Mainland China
In a statement, the airline apologised for the inconvenience but said “the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority”.
It added: “Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on ba.com.”
BA operates daily flights to Shanghai and Beijing from Heathrow.
Urgent plans to bring Britons back from the coronavirus-hit Chinese province of Hubei are being finalised by the government.
The deadline for those stuck in the city of Wuhan and surrounding areas to contact the British consulate expressing their wish to leave passed at 3am UK time (11am local time).Culture Secretary Baroness Morgan said BA’s decision to suspend all flights to China would give “more impetus” to the Government’s bid to arrange for Britons to travel home.
“The Foreign Office will be working with staff on the ground to identify UK nationals,” the Conservative peer told BBC Breakfast.
Flights taking Britons back home could begin as early as Thursday, according to a British teacher in Wuhan city who said UK citizens were being given details of forthcoming flights.Due to increasing travel restrictions & public health situation, we now advise against all but essential travel to China. UK govt is urgently working to finalise arrangements for an assisted departure from Hubei Province for British nationals this week https://t.co/jfgE4TDxlp— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) January 28, 2020The death toll in China has risen to 132, with confirmed infections surging to nearly 6,000, up by 1,459 from Tuesday’s figure.
Four cases have been confirmed in Germany, making it the second European country to report cases, after France.
The United Arab Emirates has also confirmed its first cases of the virus in a family who recently returned to the UAE from Wuhan.
The Department of Health and Social Care said 97 people in the UK have been given the all-clear for the virus, although scientists predict it may have entered the country.Related... Bat Soup, A Secret Vaccine, Thousands Dead? The Coronavirus Myths We Need To Shut Down Government Urges Brits Returning From Wuhan To 'Self-Isolate' To Tackle Coronavirus
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