TRANSPORT companies have taken extra steps to protect to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in the South East.

It follows a third case of the illness being confirmed in Brighton on Thursday.

NHS advice urged anyone suffering with “even mild symptoms” who has returned to the UK from China, including Macau and Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore or Malaysia to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as well as calling NHS 111 to tell it about their recent travel.

It also advised people to “not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return”.

Bus and rail companies have revealed they have provided staff and passengers with extra services to prevent the spread of the virus.

A Govia Thameslink Railway spokesman said its “staff have been briefed in line with Public Health England advice”.

Meanwhile Brighton and Hove Buses said it had established a daily online briefing to staff to reflect practical guidance and updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and from the Government.

It had also advised on “what we are doing locally”.

Supplies of paper face shields and hand gel have been ordered for its depots and travel shops.

The company’s managing director Martin Harris said: “We’re acting on the basis of the WHO and the Government’s advice, which indicates a low level of risk for the UK, but we are closely monitoring the situation and a number of preparations are in place.

“We are willing to carry public health information on our buses, if requested by public health authorities.”

Coronavirus is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans.

The third case of the illness in the UK was confirmed on Thursday night to be a man in Brighton.

The man is said to be in his forties or fifties and have flown into the country from Singapore. He is believed to be from the Hove area.

He has since been moved to a specialised isolation unit near London and his family are “spending some time together in a more secluded place to be extra safe and to be extra cautious”.