The government has warned UK residents against travelling to mainland China as fears over the fatal coronavirus continue to grow.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Office updated its travel advice to urge against all but essential travel to the mainland, in a bid top stop the fatal virus from spreading.

More than 100 people have died from the new strain of the virus, which broke out in the central city of Wuhan after people picked it up from a fresh food market.

The update came as Britons in the province of Hubei were told they could be flown home as early as Thursday.

Those stuck in the city and surrounding areas have been urged to contact the British consulate before 11am on Wednesday if they wish to leave.

The British embassy in Beijing has said transport to get UK citizens out ‘may happen quickly and with short notice’.

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The Foreign Office has yet to confirm details, but a teacher in Wuhan said UK citizens were being given details of forthcoming flights.

Foreign travel advice for China on the gov.uk website has been updated to say: ‘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 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.’

This is a breaking story, more to follow…