TWO people in England have tested positive for coronavirus, it has been confirmed.

The pair are members of the same family, according to Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty. 

The government confirmed the cases at 9.30am this morning.

More cases could be confirmed later as a flight from the epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan in China, landed at RAF Brize Norton in West Oxfordshire this afternoon.

Roads around the airbase will be closed until this evening and those on board will be taken to an NHS facility in the Wirral.

READ MORE about the flight landing in Oxfordshire

The flight, carrying 83 British people and 27 foreign nationals, touched down at 1.30pm.

The two cases of the virus are the first to be diagnosed in the UK. 

The Department of Health declined to say where in England the patients were from but it is understood they are not in the Wirral area, where a special facility has been set up to quarantine those returning from Wuhan.

They are being treated at a hospital in Newcastle, according to the PA news agency.

On Wednesday night, an apartment-hotel in Yorkshire was put on lockdown when a man, understood to be a Chinese national, was taken to hospital after falling ill.

The man, who was a guest at the Staycity Hotel in the centre of York, was taken to hospital together with family members, by medics.

In a statement about the two confirmed cases, Professor Whitty said: "The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

"The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.

"We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.

"We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organisation and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities."