Statement on Coronavirus

The second flight carrying British nationals and entitled persons back to the UK arrived earlier today, Sunday, 9 February. Following the same protocols as at the facility in the Wirral, a secure quarantine site in Milton Keynes is hosting these individuals who have been flown from China, as part of the UK government's precautionary evacuation measures for the coronavirus.

The people who are in supported isolation have all been subject to health screening in China and shown no symptoms, any with symptoms were not allowed to board. The quarantine is precautionary and to that end individuals will spend 14 days in isolation under the supervision of medical professionals. This is part of the United Kingdom Government’s international role of providing care and assistance to our citizens overseas when they need it.

The NHS is well prepared to deal with incidents like this and we have a clear plan which we are working on to protect the public, with a belt and braces approach. The work to prepare the accommodation and welcome these vulnerable individuals has been an outstanding effort by national and local agencies and to everyone involved we are most grateful.

To this end, both Iain Stewart and I have been personally briefed by Matt Hancock MP, the Secretary of State for Health, and Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care. We have been assured of the professional capabilities that will be provided on the site and beyond.  

On existing evidence, most cases of Coronavirus are mild and most people recover. Nevertheless, anyone who has travelled from Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days should immediately contact NHS 111 to inform them of their recent travel; should stay indoors and should avoid contact with other people even if there are no symptoms.

Anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath, should self-isolate and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

The government has also launched a public information campaign setting out how everyone can help by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families. A copy of the information and accompanying video is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-public-information-campaign-launched-across-the-uk