British Airways halts all flights to China

British Airways said it is halting all flights to China.

It took the measure a day after Britain’s Foreign Office updated its travel advice on China, warning against “all but essential travel” to the mainland, not including Hong Kong and Macao

The airline operates daily flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to Shanghai and Beijing.

British Airways now joins several Asian carriers that are either suspending or significantly cutting back service there, as fears about the coronavirus continues to rise.

Air India and South Korean budget carrier Seoul Air are also halting all flights to the country, and Indonesia’s Lion Air plans to do the same.

Other carriers including Finnair, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, and Singapore-based Jetstar Asia are slashing service.

Beyond disrupting travel, the move will heighten concerns about the broader economic impact of the virus outbreak.

Hotels, airlines, casinos and cruise operators are among the industries suffering the most immediate repercussions, especially in countries close to China.

China has cut off access to the central city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, and 16 other cities to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further.

That has trapped more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching disease control measures ever imposed. The outbreak has infected more than 6,000 on the mainland and abroad