What is the change? The United Kingdom has declared coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health,” giving officials in England authority to detain, screen and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to the virus. Currently, passengers from flights that returned from Wuhan, China are under quarantine for a 14-day period.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Anyone traveling to England from the city of Wuhan or elsewhere in China’s Hubei Province.
  • Business impact: The spread of coronavirus, travel restrictions and the cancellation of flights because of the virus have slowed business travel to and from China.

Background: The U.K. designated coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat” on Monday. So far, the measures the government has taken will only apply in England, not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State has designated two locations, Arrowe Park Hospital and Kents Hill Park, as “isolation” facilities; the secretary has also declared Wuhan and Hubei Province as “an infected area,” meaning travelers from this area may be subject to screening or quarantine. The U.K. has temporarily closed visa application centers in China.

Analysis & Comments: While the action the U.K. has taken is not as drastic as what some other countries have implemented, it nevertheless represents a significant escalation of the country’s response to the coronavirus. Travelers who have been to Wuhan or other parts of Hubei Province should expect delays and the possibility of quarantine. The response to coronavirus continues to evolve rapidly. Deloitte will alert clients to any important developments as additional information becomes available.

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