The five Britons, who stayed in the same ski chalet in eastern France, have tested positive for coronavirus. the French health minister confirmed.
The five Britons, who stayed in the same ski chalet, were not in a serious condition, French officials said Four adults and a child were diagnosed with the virus after coming into contact with a British national who recently returned from Singapore to the UK on 28 January before being diagnosed with the virus himself on Thursday.
French authorities are closing two schools next week attended by the child with the virus, a nine-year-old boy who lives in the ski resort of Contamines-Montjoie with his family.
There have been almost 35,000 cases of the coronavirus globally, mostly in China. The latest incident stems from a man who became the UK’s third confirmed case when he tested positive on his return to Brighton.
The French health ministry said the Briton had stayed in Singapore on a business trip from 20 to 23 January
He arrived at Contamines-Montjoie, in Haute-Savoie, on 24 January for a four-day trip, before returning to England on 28 January.
On his return to the UK, he is thought to have isolated himself at home and called NHS 111. After a positive test, he was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London where he is being treated.
Public Health England also advised a student at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy in Brighton to self-isolate for 14 days, as part of their investigation into this case of coronavirus. The school said it had been advised by health authorities that there was no need to close.
The Brighton man told UK authorities that he had visited a chalet in Contamines-Montjoie, prompting French officials to take the 11 Britons staying there to hospitals in Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble on Friday night.
The chalet has two apartments where two families were staying, French authorities said in a news conference. A British couple and their three children, who are now resident in France, lived in one. The mother is in the UK at the moment and has been contacted.
Seven of their friends were staying in the other apartment.
Those with the virus are the father of the family resident in France and his nine-year-old son, as well as three members of the visiting family.
The nine-year-old boy attends the local school and has French classes at another school in St-Gervais. Both schools will be shut next week, and parents are being asked to keep their children under observation.
A crisis unit has been set up as a result of the new cases.