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Queen's University bans travel to China over Coronavirus

Queen's University

Queen's University (QUB) has banned students and staff from travelling to China due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The BBC has reported that the Belfast university has frozen travel to China for business or study while they monitor the situation.

Queen's has also advised those currently in China to return to the UK.

Any staff currently in China have been asked to contact the university.

A working group has been established to put in place a range of support measures for students and staff and to keep them up to date with the latest advice and guidance.

The university's registrar Jo Clague emailed the new guidance to all staff and students on Saturday.

It said QUB would pay for the travel costs of any students and staff currently in China to return to the UK.

"Your wellbeing is the university's first priority," the email read.

"Please do not let any concerns about your work or studies stop you taking this advice.

"We, as a university, are freezing travel to China for business or study while we continue to monitor the situation."

Queen's has asked anyone who has visitors planning to visit from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, to ask them to postpone their trip.

However visits by academics and students from other parts of China will still be allowed to go ahead. The university said this would be kept "under review".

Any staff or students who have recently returned from Wuhan have been asked to contact Queen's.

The BBC has said that there are currently around 1200 Chinese students at QUB, which also has a medical campus in Shenyang.

There are currently two people in the UK with the virus, which has claimed the lives of over 250 people.

One of those affected is a student at the University of York.

The student and another member of their family are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle.

Dr Connor Bamford, a research fellow at QUB, has said that the emergence of these cases in England was to "be expected" and a similar discovery in Northern Ireland was possible.

Belfast Telegraph