Coronavirus, or more specifically COVID-19, looks to be spreading. The government seems to be switching from a contain strategy to a delay strategy, which means that spread of the virus is now nearly inevitable. Here are all the answers to questions you might have about the spread of coronavirus in London.
What should you do to keep safe from coronavirus?
The NHS recommends being vigilant in your practice of proper basic hygiene to thwart the spread of coronavirus. Wash your hands regularly using either hot water and soap or alcohol hand rub. If you sneeze, blow your nose, then dispose of the tissue and wash your hands afterwards. The NHS use the motto: 'catch it, bin it, kill it.'
Face masks have become synonymous with the disease, but are actually better at preventing someone with the virus passing it on, rather than protecting you from contracting it. They are by no means an essential, and a spokesperson for Public Health England said "that they do not recommend the use of face masks as a means of protection from coronavirus".
What to do if you think you have coronavirus
The best thing to do is to call the non-emergency hotline 111. Do NOT go into a GP's surgery or A&E unless 111 tells you to do so. This is because you could transmit the virus in one of these spaces.
111 is likely to refer you to a specialised testing centre, such as the 'drive through' centre being trialled in Parsons Green.
Is all transport running as normal?
Public transport within London is all running as normal. Mayor Sadiq Khan has recently said he does not think it is necessary to advise people to stay away from public transport. He said this information came from public health experts, and that, 'there is no risk in using the tube or buses or other forms of public transport'.
Airports are open as usual, but lots of flights are being cancelled. This includes those planned to be travelling directly to coronavirus-hit regions, but also other flights in general. As lots of companies are cancelling all non-essential business trips, and some people are cancelling holidays, the demand for flying has dropped dramatically. If your flight is cancelled you should be contacted by the airline, but it's worth checking ahead before you travel.
How many people have it in London?
There have thus far only been two cases with a confirmed location in London — one in Merton and the other in Lewisham. That's out of 51 confirmed cases in the UK, although some cases' locations haven't been disclosed. Also a handful of cases are in the home counties just outside the city.
What's been cancelled in London because of coronavirus?
The London Book Fair — an annual trade fair that draws in 25,000 professionals from around the world — has announced it won't be going ahead due to the disease's escalation in Europe.
Also Guildhall School of Music and Drama is shut for two weeks due to a teacher's coronavirus diagnosis, and has cancelled all concerts. It's currently due to reopen on 15 March.
Something that definitely hasn't been cancelled, but which some people are staying away from, is Chinatown and Chinese restaurants. It should go without saying that you are at no greater risk from coronavirus by eating at a Chinese restaurant in London, than at any other London restaurant. Chinese restaurants are really suffering due to these fears, so now is the time they need your support.
There is the possibility of more events being cancelled if the virus continues to spread. It's worth checking social media before you travel to any major events in the city.