THE coronavirus spotlight was on Winchester at the start of this week as two pupils are now in quarantine.

Oliver’s Battery Primary School reported that the pair had travelled in a taxi that had been previously used by a person who was later confirmed to have the virus.

While headteacher Carly Redfern said there was a “very low risk to the rest of school community” some parents chose not send their children to school the following day.

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One parent, who wish not to be named, said there were less cars around, adding: “There are more kids and parents around on every other day, usually much busier.”

It came as a person from Hampshire became the first from the county to contract the COVID-19 virus.

It is unclear whether the unnamed person is linked with the pupils in self-isolation from the primary school.  

Elsewhere, the UK's first death linked to the virus came on Thursday, after a woman with underlying health conditions in her 70s died in hospital in Reading.

At the time of writing 20,338 people had been tested and 147 cases have been confirmed in England.

Starbucks, which has a store in Winchester, has also paused the use of personal cups due to coronavirus fears.

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What is the latest advice? 

The government has updated travel advice for those who have returned from Italy within the last two weeks.

Those who have come back from the country and develop symptoms, however mild, should self-isolate and call the NHS on 111.

And those who have returned from specific lockdown areas in Italy should self-isolate and call 111 even if they don't have symptoms.

People are also being advised to avoid hand-shakes as one effective way of reducing the risk of catching coronavirus, experts say.

Thorough hand-washing, maintaining distance from others and avoiding contact like hand-shakes can be a good way to stem the spread of the virus.