The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced it’s second and final evacuation flight left Wuhan at 3:20am local time on Sunday. The plane carries Brits and other nationalities back to their homes after a traumatising time stuck in the virus ridden city of Wuhan. This comes as news of five Brits struck down with the fiver in a France ski resort. The plane is expected to arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at around 5:30am.
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The previous rescue flight was considered by many to be “disastrous”, with Government’s effort called “shambolic” due to their handling of the crisis which left would-be passengers with just two hours to get to Wuhan’s deserted airport.
The flight was also delayed with many passengers questioning if they would even make it home.
Upon arrival, passengers were put in “supported isolation” for 14 days with “all necessary medical attention”, a Downing Street spokesman said.
It is believed passengers had to sign a contract agreeing to commit to the quarantine period.
An FCO spokesman said: “Our final flight from Wuhan took off at 3:20am with over 200 passengers on board, including our staff who have facilitated the flight and medics.”
The UK government is pressing China to allow family members of British nationals and British-Chinese dual nationals to leave the country.
“Our priority is to keep British nationals and their family members together and we have urgently raised this with the Chinese authorities,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said.
What will happen to the passengers once they arrive in the UK?
Passengers will be sent to Kents Hill Park, a conference centre and hotel, where they will remain in isolation for 14 days, South Central Ambulance Service said.
They also assured that there should not be any threat with this arrival of passengers from Wuhan.
“The presence of the group in Milton Keynes does not present a risk to local people since anyone displaying symptoms would not have been permitted to board the plane in Wuhan,” they added.
All passengers, upon arrival, will be assessed and will continue to be monitored after landing in the UK.
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Some Britons in Wuhan said they had not been told about the quarantine plan, with one man having refused his place on the first flight for fear of spreading the disease.
Kharn Lambert told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the embassy said it was an individual’s own responsibility to arrange transport home and isolate themselves.
“I don’t want to put the health of regular, everyday British citizens at risk,” he said.
The evacuation comes after the death toll in mainland China rose to 723, while new confirmed cases in the country jumped to 34,598. Outside China there are 288 cases in 24 countries, with one death, according to the World Health Organisation.
Earlier today it was confirmed that five Brits tested positive for the virus in France. In a separate development, British Airways announced it had extended cancellation of services to mainland because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Other airlines, including United Airlines, Air Canada and Cathay Pacific Airways, have already cancelled some flights to China.
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