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Coronavirus: British nationals to be evacuated from infected Chinese province this week

Transport networks across China have been shut down over fears of the virus spreading. (Getty)

British nationals stranded in the Chinese province at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak are expected to be flown home this week.

UK citizens in Wuhan have reportedly been given details of their forthcoming flights, some of which are set to leave as early as Thursday.

Those who wish to depart the region have been told to urgently contact the British consulate before 11am on Wednesday.

The Foreign Office confirmed on Tuesday evening it had made plans for the evacuation as it issued new travel advice for China which warned people to avoid “against all but essential travel” to the mainland.

he British embassy in Beijing has said transport to get UK citizens out “may happen quickly and with short notice”.

The British embassy in Beijing said the evacuation “may happen quickly and with short notice”. (Getty)

A British teacher living in the city said she had been in contact with the British authorities who informed her that while she could return to the UK, her husband, who has a UK visa, would not be allowed to as he was a Chinese national.

As a result, she decided that she would remain in China with her husband.

She said: “It’s what we were expecting to be honest, as we’d heard that it was like that for the American flight out. We had hoped it would be different, but oh well.


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“If the situation stays as it is, or improves, then we’re fine. We just hope it won’t get any more serious.”

She added that a number of other Britons she was in contact with had arranged to return home, with some scheduled on a flight at 7am on Thursday.

So far almost 100 people in the UK have tested negative for coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Social Care said 97 people have been given the all-clear for the virus, although scientists predict it may have entered the country.

Earlier, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government was “working on” how to bring people home from the Chinese city.

He told BBC Breakfast: “For anybody who is there, one of the issues we have, working with our partners internationally on this, is actually identifying how many British citizens there are in Wuhan.

“One of the things we’re asking people to do is to contact the consulate there to make them aware. People have started to do that.

“We are working on arrangements as well.”

Officials estimate up to 200 citizens currently there will want to return to the UK.

More than 100 people have now died in the country, with confirmed infections surging to more than 4,500.