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Coronavirus: Irish citizens might get place on French evacuation flight from China

A separate flight is leaving for the UK at 9pm Irish time tonight.

Image: Shutterstock/T.Tassanasarit

IRELAND IS HOPEFUL of securing seats on a French evacuation flight for a small number of citizens living in China who are concerned about the coronavirus, the Government said today.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney added efforts were being made to help those who wanted to leave.

He said: “We have spoken to our French colleagues and we are hopeful and confident that we can secure a seat on planes that would take Irish citizens who want to leave out.

“Then, when they arrive back in Europe they will have to go through the appropriate health measures to ensure that they are not carrying infection and their healthcare needs are being looked after as they should be.”

He said there was no evidence any Irish citizen had contracted the virus.

“We are working on that process and I am confident that we can support any Irish citizen anywhere in China, but particularly in the region concerned, we can support them if they want to leave, we can find a way of getting them out, working with other EU countries who are more than happy to help.”

Meanwhile, a flight carrying British nationals from Wuhan airport in China to the UK will leave Wuhan at 7am local time tomorrow, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. That’s 11PM GMT tonight. 

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We are pleased to have confirmation from the Chinese authorities that the evacuation flight from Wuhan airport to the UK can depart at 5am local time on Friday 31 January.

“The safety and security of British nationals is our top priority. Our embassy in Beijing and consular teams remain in close contact with British nationals in the region to ensure they have the latest information they need.”

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