RAF Brize Norton has said reports that a flight bringing around 200 British nationals from the Chinese coronavirus epicentre Wuhan is set to arrive at the base are 'pure speculation'.

The plane will arrive at a military base somewhere in the UK, but it has not been confirmed exactly which one this will be.

The flight was supposed to depart today, but was delayed due to further negotiations between the UK and Chinese governments, and is now due to leave Wuhan at 5am tomorrow.

Also read: Oxford man in China as deadly coronavirus spreads

The plan is for passengers to be taken to an ‘NHS facility in the north’ on their return where they will be kept for 14 days to ensure they do not have symptoms of the virus.

However tourist attractions in Oxfordshire which attract thousands of Chinese visitors each year are bracing for a dent in numbers due to the virus.

Heather Carter, operations director at Blenheim Palace, said yesterday: "We anticipate there will be bookings moved to later in the calendar in light of the advice regarding international travel from mainland China."

She added: “We are continuing to welcome all visitors to Blenheim Palace and are monitoring the advice from VisitBritain and UK Inbound as well as the World Health Organisation.”

Another popular Oxfordshire attraction that sees thousands of Chinese tourists visit yearly is designer outlet Bicester Village.

Centre owner Value Retail said it was ‘monitoring the situation closely’.

Joseph Abayomi, from Banbury, who works at a fashion shop at Bicester Village, said staff at his store were taking extra precautions.

Also read: Chinese New Year celebration in Oxford cancelled due to coronavirus concerns

He said: “Everyone is a bit on edge at the moment and just taking precautions like making sure we’re hand sanitizing frequently and making sure there’s personal space when helping out customers.

“It’s frustrating as we’re in contact everyday with clients from China, but there’s not much we can do.

“Until Bicester Village know more about the situation and as long as they’re putting the wellbeing of everyone that works there as a top priority, then it should stay open.”

As of this evening, all 161 tests for the virus in the UK were confirmed negative.

The county’s tourism board, Experience Oxfordshire, said it was monitoring national health advice.

A spokesperson said: “At this stage Experience Oxfordshire are keeping up to date on the situation through our links with the national agencies such as VisitBritain, UKinbound and The Tourism Alliance – all of whom are actively engaged with government developments and action taken regarding the Coronavirus.

“We are asking our partners to keep us informed if they are receiving any cancellations so that we can feed this information up at a national level, however to date we have not received any notification of this locally.”