Latest official coronavirus advice and areas affected as UK cases hit 206

Britain now has 206 confirmed coronavirus cases – including two deaths – as health experts expect the outbreak to go on for months.

A total of 21,460 have been tested for the flu-like illness, known as Covid-19, as of 7am on Saturday.

Dr Peter Piot, a microbiologist who helped to discover Ebola, warned that the UK's outbreak could peak at Easter and last for six months.

Cases are now doubling every two days in the UK amid fears that the virus will kill more people in the coming days and weeks.

The government says it is still in the 'containment' phase of responding to the outbreak.


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Here is a summary of the latest coronavirus headlines and advice.

Cases soar to 206

The Department of Health said 206 people have tested positive as of Saturday morning, while 21,254 others have tested negative.

The previous total was 164 on Friday night.

There are 184 cases in England, 16 in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and two in Wales.

Elderly Britons to be told to stay at home

Elderly Britons will be told to confine themselves to their homes as the UK's outbreak worsens, it is reported.

People will be urged to visit their elderly relatives now before the Government introduces new "social distancing" policies to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ministers are expected to announce next week that all hope of stopping an epidemic has been lost as the country moves into the "delay" phase, the Telegraph reported.

Pensioners are likely to be told to avoid crowds and public gatherings and they could be asked to stay at home entirely.

The deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, said that discussions about how to help older people are ongoing.

She told Sky News: "One of the important parts of that is not just about the recommendation or not to isolate, but actually ensuring that they have all of the supplies and care that they need."

UK outbreak 'to peak at Easter'

The UK's outbreak could peak at Easter and last for six months, warned Dr Peter Piot, a microbiologist who helped to discover Ebola.

He believes thousands of people in Britain are carrying the virus and the worst could come next month.

He told The Times that the virus could make a return next winter.

He added: "It takes about 12 weeks to reach the peak then maybe about 12 weeks to go away again."

Where are the new cases?

Five more infections were reported in Scotland – two in Lanarkshire and one each in Lothian, the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, and Grampian.

In Glasgow, the Scotstoun sports campus was shut on Saturday after a rugby player contracted the disease.

A student at Loughborough University in Leicestershire tested positive after returning from Italy.

A second patient has been diagnosed in Cornwall.

Two British Airways baggage handlers, who work at Heathrow Airport, have also caught Covid-19.

Not included in the UK total, a 26-year-old woman was confirmed as a carrier after returning to Vietnam following stops in London, Italy's Lombardy region and Paris.

Brit who died had been on cruise

A man in his 80s who died at a hospital in Milton Keynes had returned from a cruise in the Caribbean.

It is reported that he had been "coughing excessively" around other sick patients and had a number of visitors before he was isolated.

The man had underlying health conditions before he died on Thursday night.

The first person to die was a woman in her 70s who was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

Fears for Brits trapped on cruise ship


About 140 Britons are trapped on the Grand Princess cruise ship near San Francisco, California, after 21 out of more than 3,500 people onboard tested positive for coronavirus.

The tests were carried out after passengers on a previous voyage were diagnosed, including a 71-year-old California man who died.

All passengers and crew will now be tested for Covid-19 as the vessel is quarantined.

Public Health England's advice on how to protect yourself


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The UK's risk level is currently moderate.

Public Health England has issued five tips on how to protect and prepare yourself as they expect to see more coronavirus cases in the UK.

Wash your hands frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Be prepared to self-isolate – this may mean staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people for up to 14 days.

Plan ahead based on your situation by reducing social activities or non-essential travel. Can you work from home or will you need someone to bring you groceries if you get ill?

Use health services wisely. Services like 999 or Accident and Emergency  should only be used for genuine emergencies.

Advice for returning travellers

The Government has issued advice for people returning from Iran, Hubei province in China, lockdown areas in northern Italy and special care zones in South Korea.

It says: "Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms."

People who have returned from a number of other countries in the last 14 days, including Japan, remaining areas of South Korea, Thailand and Singapore, should stay indoors and avoid contact with others if they have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if the symptoms are mild.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

People who develop symptoms or fear they have coronavirus should not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

In England, call NHS 111.

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours.

In Wales call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 46 47.

In Northern Ireland call 111.

What are the symptoms?

The Department of Health says: "Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

"Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

"Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China."

Globally, the number of reported coronavirus cases has risen past 103,000, with more than 3,400 deaths.

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