BRITAIN could ban visitors from China in a bid to halt deadly coronavirus.
US-style travel restrictions may include turning away anyone who has been in the country in the past 14 days.
As the coronavirus death toll neared 500 today, two Brits were quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan.
David Abel, 74, and wife Sally, of Woodford Halse, Northants, have been ordered to stay in their cabins for a fortnight.
Ten passengers out of 3,000 aboard the Diamond Princess have tested positive.
Government sources said it was unlikely tougher travel restrictions will be introduced before next week.
Officials want to keep direct flights open for as long as possible after the Foreign Office urged 30,000 Brit nationals to flee China.
Hong Kong today imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China.
In Britain, where two people have tested positive for the virus, anyone from the centre of the outbreak in Wuhan is being told to self-isolate.
And Brit evacuees from the region are being quarantined in NHS accommodation on Merseyside.
But other travellers from China can move freely — unless they come down with a cough or fever, when they must stay indoors and call 111.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight chaired a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee.
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Hospitals have been told to create “priority assessment pods” for people with suspected coronavirus.
NHS boss Professor Keith Willett said the areas were needed to avoid A&Es being deluged by patients.
Meanwhile high street chains Halfords, Ted Baker, B&M and Joules are facing disruption to supplies due to the epidemic.