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Coronavirus: British Airways suspends flights to and from mainland China

By Mutala Yakubu

British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China because of the coronavirus outbreak, the airline has said.

It comes after the UK Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to the country.

The virus has caused more than 100 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries.

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Hundreds of foreign nationals have been evacuated from the city of Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak.

A BA spokesman said: “We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.

"Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on BA.com."

The Foreign Office updated its travel guidance yesterday to advise against "all but essential" travel to mainland China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said officials are "working urgently to finalise arrangements for an assisted departure from Hubei Province for British nationals this week, and are in contact with people in Hubei to ensure they register their interest and that we can keep them updated".

He said: "Due to the increasing travel restrictions and the public health situation, we now advise against all but essential travel to China."

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Officials said UK nationals in China should "make decisions based on their own personal circumstances" over whether to leave other parts of the country.