The spread of coronavirus in the UK is “likely”, the PM has said, but a plan has been agreed to tackle it.
Boris Johnson said people “should go about business as usual” at the moment.
He said the UK was “very well prepared” and measures would be guided by scientific advice, with further details announced in the coming days and weeks.
Meanwhile, the EU has raised the coronavirus risk level in member states to “moderate to high”.
The prime minister said: “We have also agreed a plan so that if and when it starts to spread, as I’m afraid it looks likely it will, we are in a position to take the steps necessary to… contain the spread of the disease as far as we can, and to protect the most vulnerable.”
He advised that “the single most useful thing” people could do was wash their hands “two times to Happy Birthday with hot water”.
Downing Street said a UK-wide action plan to tackle coronavirus, agreed at Monday’s emergency Cobra meeting, would be published on Tuesday.
The Budget will go ahead as planned on March 11, despite the impact of the outbreak on the UK and global economy, a spokesman said.
Earlier on Monday, Public Health England (PHE) said widespread transmission of coronavirus in the UK was now “highly likely”.
Medical Director Prof Paul Cosford said the increase in cases in the UK and abroad meant the UK must be prepared.
Source: BBC News