British Airways is offering its customers the option of postponing or refunding flights to China (including Hong Kong), as the number of people confirmed to have contracted Coronavirus nears 3,000.

In a post in the Help section of the carrier’s website (added at 1435 on Sunday), BA said:

“We fully understand that you may want to change your travel plans as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreak in China, and so whilst we await further advice from the Government and health organisations, we are offering any customers due to fly to or from China including Hong Kong until February 23 the option to refund or rebook.”

The airline said that customers due to fly between now and February 23 have the option of booking onto another flight operated by BA to the same destination, in the same cabin class or lower.

Refunds can be requested regardless of ticket type, and those travelling on redemption bookings can also request a refund.

The news comes as the confirmed death toll from the respiratory virus has risen to 81, with nearly 3,000 having fallen ill, according to a report by the BBC.