The Foreign Office has warned tens of thousands of British citizens in China that they could be refused entry to Britain and flights may be halted
30,000 Brits still in China have been urged o leave immediately in a bid to protect their own health amid fears the coronavirus crisis will continue to escalate.
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According to The Times ministers are considering drastic measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including the suspension of direct flights and a US-style ban on non citizens entering Britain if they have been to China in the past 14 days.
The Mail Online reports: The UK’s recent step to order UK nationals to leave China comes as the global death toll from the killer disease today hit 490 with more than 24,000 people infected.
But the announcement sparked an immediate backlash as it emerged all evacuees outside of Wuhan – the city at the centre of the outbreak – must find their own way out, despite many airlines cancelling flights and major cities being sealed off by authorities.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today also warned there will be just one more UK-led evacuation flight. He said people in Wuhan would now be able to instead hitch rides out of the disaster zone on other countries’ planes. Just 100 of 300 British nationals living in Wuhan have been airlifted out so far.
The only two UK airlines serving China – British Airways and Virgin Atlantic – have grounded their flights due to the outbreak. Several others are continuing to operate flights, including Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines.