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Coronavirus: Britons will not fly home from Wuhan on Thursday

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A planned flight to bring 200 British nationals back to the UK from coronavirus-hit Wuhan is unable to take off as planned on Thursday.

It is understood relevant permissions from Chinese officials have not yet come through.

The Foreign Office said it was “working urgently to organise a flight to the UK as soon as possible”.

The virus has caused more than 130 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries.

The flight from Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged, had been expected to arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Thursday morning. Passengers were to be taken to an NHS facility.

When the passengers do return they will be put in “supported isolation” for 14 days with “all necessary medical attention”, a Downing Street spokesman said.

The Foreign Office said a number of countries’ flights had been unable to take off as planned.

“We remain in close contact with the Chinese authorities and conversations are ongoing at all levels,” the spokeswoman added.

Hundreds of foreign nationals are being evacuated from Wuhan, with Japan, the US and the EU among those repatriating their citizens.

Some 200 Japanese nationals have been flown from Wuhan and have landed at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

About 200 Americans – including workers from the local US consulate – have also left Wuhan on an evacuation flight.

Coronavirus: Britons will not fly home from Wuhan on Thursday

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