THE deadly coronavirus has now killed 132 people, with thousands more infected around the world.
Governments including the UK and the US have warned their citizens not to travel to China, with airlines also cancelling flights to the country.
Before you travel, make sure you know the latest advice.
Latest travel advice from governments and health organisations
The UK government has warned: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.”
“The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).”
“The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak.”
It added: “Some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so.
“If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.”
For Brits stranded in the city, the FCO has advised them to call one of two numbers for help: +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or (+44) (0)207 008 1500.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now issued a Level 3 warning – its highest – for the whole of China.
It said: “CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.
“In response to an outbreak of respiratory illness, Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.
“Additional restrictions and cancellations of events may occur.”
It added: “There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”
The CDC further advised that for US residents who have been to China in the last 14 days and who feels sick to seek medical care right away.
In its latest update, the World Health Organisation advised travellers to “practice usual precautions”.
To reduce your chances of catching the disease, you should wash your hands carefully “using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water” and do this regularly.
You should also avoid contact with anyone who might be sick and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and wash your hands afterwards.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a new strain belonging to a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The common early signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.
In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
This tends to be more common in people with weaker immune systems such as babies or the elderly.
It isn’t clear where the virus originated from, but it is easily spread between humans.
How are flights, hotels and cruises affected?
Passengers travelling to or from China by air will be heavily impacted.
All flights to the cities on lockdown have been cancelled, with Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Taiwan’s China Airlines axing all flights until the end of February.
British Airways has now cancelled all flights to China until January 31 following updated travel advice from the FCO.
German airline Lufthansa has also cancelled all flights to the country until February 9, while Air Asia has axed all flights until February 29.
Several major airlines, including American Airlines, United, Air Canada, Finnair have all cancelled flights due to a fall in demand.
A number of airlines are also handing out disinfectants and face masks for passengers, with low-cost carrier Scoot adding that the aircraft itself would be disinfected.
Hotel chains including Hyatt and InterContinental are also allowing guests to cancel their booked rooms in China until the end of the month without paying cancellation fees.
A number of major cruise lines have cancelled their upcoming sailings from China as well – including Royal Caribbean and MSC cruises.
What tourist attractions are closed?
Last week, a number of major attractions in China were forced to close.
The Forbidden City in Beijing and Disneyland in Shanghai were among the first to close ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.
Disneyland said it would remain closed until further notice.
They added on social media that they were “monitoring the situation” and would reveal when they could re-open in due course.
Hong Kong Disneyland was also closed at the weekend.
Guests will be able to get refunds for their park tickets and hotels if they had booked to visit.
Parts of the Great Wall of China are closed too, including the most popular Badaling section.
More than 70,000 cinemas have closed across the country.
Major Chinese tourist attractions closed
According to Trails of Indochina, the major tourist attractions closed include:
- The Forbidden City in Beijing
- The Terracotta Warriors in Xian
- Yu Garden in Shanghai
- The Great Wall at Jinshanling in Beijing,
- Great Wall (Mutianyu Section) in Beijing
- The Ming Tombs in Beijing
- Gubei Water Town in Beijing
- Prince Gong’s Mansion in Beijing,
- Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xian
- The Ancient City Walls in Xian
- Shaanxi History Museum(Closed on Monday) in Xian
- Wuzheng and most sites in Hangzhou
- Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai
- Mogao Caves in Dunhuang
The NHS is in the UK is currently on “high alert” for signs of the virus.
Doctors on the front lines in China have been seen breaking down and crying after days without sleep.
There is currently no vaccines for the virus.