British Airways has extended its suspension of flights to Beijing and Shanghai until April due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The airline said today that all flights to the two Chinese cities have been cancelled until 31 March, while flights from Beijing and Shanghai are cancelled until 1 April.
Flights to the cities had originally been scheduled to resume after 29 February, however the decision to extend the hiatus follows continued foreign office advice against “all but essential travel to mainland China”.
Flights to and from Hong Kong remain unaffected, the airline said.
In a statement BA said: “The situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates.
“If you have a booking with us, please make sure we have your contact details. We’ll do everything we can to help customers affected.”
The extension comes after a further four patients in England tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.
The new cases are known contacts of a previously confirmed UK patient, and the virus was spread in France, the Department of Health said today.
Chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty said: “Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.
“They successfully identified these individuals and ensured the appropriate support was provided”.
The patients have been transferred to Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals in London.
The government today upgraded coronavirus to a “serious and imminent” threat to UK public health to give doctors greater powers to tackle its spread.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are taking a belt and braces approach to all necessary precautions to ensure public safety.”