The four new patients were all contacts of a businessman who was diagnosed in Brighton last week and who contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore. On his way back to the UK, the businessman visited a chalet in a ski region of France, where he met the other Britons who have been taken ill.
All of the infected people have been transferred to infectious disease units at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals in London.
Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said: “Four further patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight. Today, the government admitted that the virus poses a very serious threat to the Uk.