STUDENTS and staff at one of Winchester's universities have been advised to follow precautions to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The University of Southampton, which runs the Winchester School of Art, has begun advising its faculty and students as a number prepare to head home for the Chinese New Year.

It comes as the death toll in China rises to 26, with 830 infected, and in the UK Public Health England revealed last night that 14 patients have been tested in Britain - with five confirmed negative and nine still awaiting results.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We are advising staff or students travelling to or from affected areas to keep checking the Public Health England (PHE) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) webpages for the most up-to-date advice and information on how they can take precautions.

“We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will continue to take note of any guidance from PHE and other health authorities.”

Elsewhere the University of Chester has warned students thinking of heading home for the Chinese New Year that they will face quarantine before being readmitted.

Vice-chancellors' group Universities UK said: "Ensuring the safety and welfare of their students is a top priority for universities.

"UK universities have been monitoring the coronavirus situation as it unfolds and universities with students in affected areas are working to identify appropriate actions.

"Universities will continue to follow the latest FCO advice and to monitor the situation, which is evolving rapidly."