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Novel coronavirus: statement from the Chamber

The British Chamber of Commerce in China is closely following the response to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) across China. Reducing the spread of the disease is critical. We applaud the decisive measures that the Chinese government has put in place. Our thoughts are with the people directly affected and we remain focused on the health and safety of our members and the Chamber team.

On 4th February the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all travel to Hubei province and against all but essential travel to the rest of the Chinese mainland. They also advised that British citizens in China and able to leave should do so.

Based on the data available from the Chinese authorities and from the World Health Organization it is apparent that the number of cases differs regionally within China. It is important that Chamber members pay close attention to local restrictions and travel advise while also following all preventative measures specific to where they and their teams are based (some of the critical preventative measures are included below).

The British Chamber understands that a decision to leave or stay is a personal choice to which everyone must decide based on their own personal circumstance, geographic location and the information currently at hand.

Daily situation updates are available from the World Health Organization (link) and daily briefings by the National Health Commission of the PRC (link), and the latest official travel advisory from the FCO is available here together with an extremely helpful Q&A on the coronavirus prepared by the FCO (link).

The team and I at the Chamber remain on the ground in China and continue to provide support to members. Out of an abundance of caution, the team is currently working from home and restricting unnecessary travel.

Yesterday we released an online survey to understand the issues and concerns of our members as China and the world work to contain the coronavirus. Your response is vital so we can work with authorities to provide guidance and support during this period.

Kind regards,

Steven Lynch
Managing Director
British Chamber of Commerce in China

**WHO Guidelines
– Greet each other without physical contact
– Try to maintain a distance of 1 metre between you and others
– Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
– If you do wear a mask, learn how to put in on, take it off and dispose of it correctly. If it becomes moist, replace it
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze, dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands
– Whilst working from home it is important to maintain hygiene, food safety and social distancing

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