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Message on behalf of TIER: coronavirus 7 February situation update

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Dear TIER member,

Please find the latest situation update below and VisitBritain’s updated reactive statement attached, in light of the updated advice from Public Health England (see bullet point 5).

Situation update correct as at 15.00 7 February 2020

  • As of 7 February, a total of 620 UK tests have concluded, of which 617 were confirmed negative and 3 positive.
  • Globally as of 7 February there are 31,479 cases of which 31,161 are in China.
  • The fatalities to date are 638 (636 of these are within China, 1 in the Philippines and 1 in Hong Kong).
  • China has introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.
  • Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
  • These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review
  • Subject to agreement from the airlines, enhanced monitoring is being extended following the update in the FCO advice to cover direct flights from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand.
  • Posters and leaflets have been sent by PHE electronically to all 28 UK international airports, all UK Eurostar terminals and Dover and key ferry ports. The posters in the process of being translated into multiple languages following the updated advice for additional countries by the FCO.
  • One UK national on the Princess Cruise ship off the coast of Japan has reported to have been tested positive for 2019-nCoV.
  • The UK’s Travel Advice for China was updated overnight to clarify the operations of the British consulates across China: CG Shanghai and Guangzhou will continue to provide essential travel documentary services to British nationals wishing to leave China, but no other consular assistance at this time. 

The FCO has updated their advice for inbound travellers to the UK:

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately: Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
  • In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas

Advice for travellers who have returned to the UK from or who are visiting from the following areas:

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
  • In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

What this means in practice
We are asking people to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like they would with other flu viruses. This means remaining at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms) and not going to work, school or public areas. Where possible, you should avoid having visitors to your home, but it’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.

Transport
You should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms).

Getting food and medicine

We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend, family member or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf.

Taking children to school

We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend or family member to take your children to school.

Why the advice has changed
This is an evolving situation and the advice has changed based on emerging information from China about the number of cases and spread of the infection from person to person.

This is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.

Links:

7 February VisitBritain Reactive Lines

CLIA Coronavirus FAQs 7 Feb 2020

CLIA Statement on Coronavirus_Embargoed