Coronavirus: Is the UK's response to China virus proportionate? - BBC Newsnight

Coronavirus: Is the UK's response to China virus proportionate? - BBC Newsnight

Coronavirus: Is the UK's response to China virus proportionate? - BBC Newsnight

The travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers have been thrown into chaos after British Airways cancelled all flights to and from mainland China.

BA's move followed some flight cancellations to China by USA airline United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL.O which blamed a sharp fall in demand.

The move comes after the Foreign Office warned late on Tuesday that Britons should avoid all but essential travel to the country.

China has itself urged its citizens to delay trips overseas, with at least 15 countries having confirmed cases of the disease. And the Trump administration is reportedly considering a ban on flights between the United States and China after officials confirmed five stateside cases of the virus.

Papua New Guinea residents returning from Asian countries will be held in quarantine for 14 days.

Authorities also last week imposed transport bans in and around Wuhan in an unprecedented quarantine effort, leaving more than 50 million people shuttered in their homes.

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British Airways suspends direct flights to China on virus fears

Flights to these cities have been suspended until March, the airline said. Eight cases were confirmed in Hong Kong, and officials said it would close off some parts of its border with mainland China while also curbing inbound air travel from the mainland by half.

A senior administration official told ABC News "the White House did not call the airlines and hasn't asked for a suspension of flights between the USA and China".

The coronavirus infections have overtaken that of the 2003 SARS outbreak inside mainland China. Shanghai and Guangdong Province are requesting businesses to remain closed until February 9, while Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, is asking the same until February 13.

Singaporean budget airline Scoot suspended its daily flights between Singapore and Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, on January 23.

The US has not put into place travel restrictions, though Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said "it's important to not take anything off the table", when he was asked about that potential. "Flights to/from Hong Kong will continue as planned". "In response to the coronavirus situation, we are cancelling select flights to China to better match capacity with expected demand", the airline said in a statement.

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