The FCO is advising against all but essential travel to mainland China amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The advice excludes travel to Hong Kong and Macao.

Updated advice published by the FCO on Tuesday evening said: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office 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 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.”

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The FCO warned that due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, it is working to “make an option available” for British nationals to leave Hubei Province.

Travel restrictions have been tightened and wearing masks in public is now mandatory in some cities.

All transport hubs including airports, railway and bus stations, have been closed in Wuhan and travel restrictions are in place in other cities in Hubei Province.

Earlier on Tuesday Hong Kong closed its high-speed rail link to mainland China and suspended permits for Chinese tourists visiting the territory after the territory confirmed six cases of coronavirus.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, said rail and other cross-border train services would be cancelled from January 30 and the number of flights cut in half.

Bus routes will also be reduced while some boundary crossings have been shut.

The deadly virus broke out in Hubei’s provincial capital Wuhan. The death toll is now up to 106 across China with more than 4,500 confirmed ill.

Almost 50 cases have been confirmed outside China, including the USA, Australia, Thailand and France.

The FCO said: “The Chinese authorities are focused on tackling the impact of the virus in different ways, many of which are likely to impact British nationals in all areas of China, not just Hubei province.

“These include temperature checks at transport hubs and other locations; quarantine arrangements for travel between different parts of the country; and restrictions on travel between and within cities.

“Medical facilities across the country are under significant pressure. Some are not accepting patients and others have long queues. Some businesses have closed. Many tourist attractions are closed. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has suspended all tour group companies’ activities to prevent further virus spread.”

Public Health England has issued advice to travellers.

Read the FCO advice in full here