They have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres in Liverpool and London, the Department of Health said. The virus was passed on while they were in Italy and Tenerife, said England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty. Ministers have said they expect more cases to emerge. The new patients are being treated at specialist centres at the Royal Free Hospital, London, and the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
The BBC understands that the person who contracted the virus in Tenerife is from Derbyshire, and that a school in the county has closed because of the case. It is not clear which part of the UK the other person is from. They contracted the virus in northern Italy. Italy now has more than 400 cases of coronavirus with authorities there reporting that 12 people have died. And in Tenerife, 168 Britons have been told to isolate themselves at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel.
Globally, more than 80,000 people in more than 40 countries have now been infected. Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, has killed more than 2,700 people. Most of the deaths have been in China, where the virus originated in December. The new cases in England come as the government is set to launch a public information campaign, which will focus on hygiene and how to prevent the spread of infection. The current advice is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, throw away tissues immediately after use and wash your hands frequently. It also advised to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands and avoid close contact with people who are unwell.