All direct flights from Wuhan in China to Heathrow Airport will have enhanced monitoring the British government has announced on Wednesday.
Precautionary measures are in place as the virus has claimed many lives affected many hundreds and has spread to other parts of the world, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
A statement from the DHSC said, “We have been carefully monitoring the situation in Wuhan for some time and are ready to put in place proportionate, precautionary measures.
“From today, enhanced monitoring will be in place from all direct flights from Wuhan to the UK.
“The enhanced monitoring package includes a number of measures that will help to provide advice to travellers if they feel unwell.
“For those travelling back directly from Wuhan, this includes a port health team who will meet each direct flight aircraft to provide advice and support to those that feel unwell.”
A total of 440 confirmed cases have been confirmed and thus far 17 people have died, according to official Chinese figures.
Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at PHE, said: “This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.
“Based on the available evidence, the current risk to the UK is considered low.
“If you are travelling to Wuhan, you should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms.
“Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK.
“They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.”
A spokesman for Heathrow said, “The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is always our main priority and we are working with the government to support the implementation of enhanced monitoring measures as a precaution.”