THE death toll for coronavirus has surged to more than 600, with over 31,000 people now infected with the deadly bug.
Following news that a UK coronavirus patient could have caught the bug while at a conference in Singapore, there’s new advice for those travelling to and from countries near China.
Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates
Countries and destinations around China are all stepping up on safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus, with some restricting travel.
There’s also updated advice around what you should do when you’ve just come back.
Before you travel, here’s what you need to know:
Is it safe to travel to Singapore?
Singapore has banned visitors who have been to mainland China in the last 14 days from entry – and that includes passengers in transit.
The Singaporean government has issued detailed advice around what it means for people travelling to the country.
The FCO hasn’t advised against visiting Singapore although it has warned that there are special procedures now in place.
It adds: “On 31 January, the Singapore Government announced that an extension of measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus will be introduced on 1 February.
“Check your travel plans with your travel provider before departure. “
The US State Department has not issued any updated travel warnings for Singapore.
Is it safe to travel to Hong Kong?
There have been confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China.
It is connected to mainland China by road and as of February 4, the region has closed almost all border crossings with mainland China indefinitely – the only exceptions are the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
Kai Tak Cruise and Ocean terminals are now also closed to the public indefinitely.
According to the UK Foreign Office (FCO): “All ferry crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China, and Hong Kong and Macao will also cease.
“There has also been a significant reduction in flights between mainland China and Hong Kong, though some flights are still operating.”
For international travellers, there are significantly fewer flights in and out of Hong Kong, with visitors advised that there will be increased health screenings, including temperature checks, at border control.
From February 8, anyone who’s been to anywhere in mainland China will have to undergo mandatory quarantine – even if they haven’t visited the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan.
Three former passengers of the World Dream, which is now docked at Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong, were found to have coronavirus.
Despite this, the FCO has not advised against travel to the region.
It said: “The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).”
The FCO added: “If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.”
For those on the World Dream cruise, it said: “If you’re on board the World Dream cruise ship currently held at Kai Tak terminal, follow the advice of the authorities leading the response.
“If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong on +852 2901 3000 or use this contact form.”
Meanwhile, the US State Department has issued a level 2 warning for Hong Kong, with visitors advised to “exercise increased caution”.
Its advice for mainland China is level 4 – do not travel.
Be aware there are still ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
Is it safe to travel to Macau?
Macau (also spelt Macao) is also a special administrative region (SAR) of China and is directly connected to mainland China and Hong Kong by road and ferry.
The Hong Kong government has announced that all ferries between Macau and Hong Kong have now ceased.
However, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which connects Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau, will remain open, including for commercial bus services.
There have been confirmed cases of coronavirus in Macau with increased health screenings.
All visitors will be asked to confirm where they’ve been for the last 14 days and those who have visited Hubei will need to carry a medical certificate confirming they are free of coronavirus.
You can find the latest local advice on Macau government’s website.
The UK Foreign Office has not warned against travelling to Macau but has said that passengers who have just returned from the region should watch out for any symptoms.
Just as for Hong Kong, the US State Department has issued a level 2 warning for Macau, with visitors advised to “exercise increased caution”.
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