June 20, 2021

Coronavirus: Britons in Wuhan to fly home on Friday

British nationals trapped in Wuhan will return home on Friday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.

Chinese authorities have confirmed the evacuation flight will leave at 05:00 local time (21:00 GMT Thursday). It is expected to land at RAF Brize Norton.

The flight, carrying 200 Britons, was due to leave the centre of the coronavirus outbreak earlier but was delayed because of a lack of clearance.

The virus has caused 170 deaths and spread to 15 other countries.

When the passengers return to the UK they will be transported to former NHS staff accommodation in the north-west of England.

They will be put in “supported isolation” for 14 days with “all necessary medical attention”, a Downing Street spokesman said.

A small team of military medics is flying out to Wuhan to accompany passengers on the repatriation flight.

In a statement, Mr Raab said: “The safety and security of British nationals is our top priority.

“Our embassy in Beijing and consular teams remain in close contact with British nationals in the region to ensure they have the latest information they need.”

Separately, British Airways said it had extended its cancellation of services to mainland China until 29 February, following Foreign Office guidance against “all but essential travel” to the country.

Virgin Atlantic flights between Heathrow and Shanghai are continuing to operate as scheduled.

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