British Airways ceased all of its direct flights to and from mainland China amid the coronavirus outbreak — with the decision coming after the United Kingdom advised against “all but essential” travel to the rest of the country on Tuesday.
When logging into BA.com, the official website for the airline, it currently shows no direct flights to the country — with a posted notice, “Sorry, there are no direct flights for this route, flights with connections are below.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the decision to advise against traveling to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao) was due to the restrictions of movement placed by the government in response to the outbreak.
“It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so,” the FCO said. “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.”
Multiple countries have started evacuating their citizens from China because of the deadly virus, which has killed 132 people and infected more than 6,000 on the mainland and abroad according to Fox news.
China has cut off access to Wuhan — the epicenter of the virus — as well as 16 other cities in Hubei province to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further. The United States, Japan, and South Korea have also planned evacuations.
The U.S. has reported five infections since the outbreak started, according to the CDC.
Several countries have confirmed cases of the virus, with most of them being Chinese visitors, people who visited Wuhan or family members in close contact with the sick. Japan’s six confirmed cases include a tour bus driver who drove visiting groups from Wuhan. Germany says four workers at an auto parts company possibly were infected when a colleague from Shanghai visited.
The United Arab Emirates confirmed its first case on Wednesday in a person who came from Wuhan, the state-run news agency reported.
Canada also confirmed two cases of the Coronavirus in a man who traveled to Wuhan and then infected his wife upon returning home.