A leading London drama school has shut because a teacher tested positive for the killer coronavirus that is rapidly sweeping the world.
The prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, located in the heart of London, will be closed for up to 14 days as a precaution.
The unidentified man, thought to be a music teacher, came into contact with a 'limited number' of students last week, the school admitted.
At least four teachers are now thought to have been infected in the UK, with staff members in Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Wimbledon already struck down.
Thousands of pupils stayed at home yesterday after scores of schools shut because of links to confirmed patients or to carry out a deep clean.
It comes amid fears teenagers may be forced to sit their exams during the summer, if more schools are shut because of coronavirus.
Thirty-nine coronavirus cases have already been confirmed in the UK. Almost 91,000 patients have been infected worldwide.
The prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, located in the heart of London, will be closed for up to 14 days as a precaution
Wimbledon College, in south-west London, shut its doors yesterday because of the coronavirus
Guildhall School of Music and Drama didn't release any more information about the male teacher – but he is thought to teach music.
He was whisked off for treatment at London's Royal Free Hospital, a specialist NHS centre for infectious diseases.
In an email sent to staff and students, the school – ranked as one of the world's best performing arts institutes – said he is 'recovering well'.
According to The Guardian, the note added: 'He was present and teaching in one of the ancillary school buildings on one day last week.
'He came into contact with a limited number of students and we are working closely with those students to ensure that they receive urgent appropriate advice.'
The school urged any staff and students who show any coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever or cough, to ring NHS111 and seek medical advice.
Almost 91,000 cases of coronavirus have been recorded across the world. At least 3,100 people are known to have died
Wimbledon College has been shut after one of its staff members caught the coronavirus on a trip to Italy
Emergency plans are being drawn up by health officials to contain the coronavirus as the first Briton died today and could see schools closed for at least two months and major sporting events, gigs and music festivals cancelled.
The most extreme measure could be to mirror the decision to shut Japan's entire school system, which will close from Monday for a month until April.
A UK shutdown would see millions of parents, including key workers such as surgeons, nurses and paramedics, forced to stay at home to care for their children.
Prof Whitty admitted it is 'just a matter of time' until coronavirus spreads more widely and quicker through the UK - and the fightback could include 'reducing mass gatherings and school closures', with Premier League and FA Cup matches either under threat or played behind closed doors.
Chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, said the decisions would not be taken lightly because 'anything we do we're going to have to do for quite a long time – probably more than two months.'
It added: 'All meetings, performances, workshops, masterclasses and any other on-site school engagements in the next 14 days should be cancelled.
'Staff are encouraged to work remotely during this period and if they are in any doubt of how to do so should contact their line manager.'
It comes after Willow Bank Junior School and Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley, Berkshire, both closed yesterday because of coronavirus.
A female staff member at the infant school tested positive after catching the illness while on holiday in northern Italy.
In an email, the schools told parents they would be shut for 'some days' to allow for a deep clean to be carried out on the premises.
St Mary's Primary School in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, also closed after a member of staff there was confirmed to have the virus after a trip to Italy.
Wimbledon College, in south-west London, shut its doors yesterday because of the coronavirus.
In a letter to parents the headmaster wrote that a member of staff caught the virus while on a trip to northern Italy.
Several staff members were asked to self-isolate after coming into contact with the teacher, forcing the school to shut because of 'low staffing numbers'.
The Ridgeway School in Farnham, Surrey, which teaches children with severe learning difficulties, has closed for deep cleaning.
Three cases have been diagnosed in Surrey already and a Ridgeway member of staff had been in contact with a confirmed patient.
St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, where a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. It is closed for deep cleaning until Wednesday
Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Torbay confirmed a student tested positive for COVID-19, while the second case in Devon is a member of the same family. No other details are known
School closures have left parents at the mercy of employers who do not have to pay them for days spent at home looking after their children.
Amid fears that coronavirus could cause a childcare crisis, official advice published yesterday stressed that there is 'no statutory right to pay' in such a scenario.
The guidance – from Acas, the Government's Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – states that 'some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy', adding: 'The amount of time off an employee takes to look after someone must be reasonable for the situation... they might take two days off to start with, and if more time is needed they can book holiday.'
Government advice on taking time off work for family emergencies states: 'Your employer may pay you for time off to look after dependants, but they don't have to.
'Check your contract, company handbook or intranet site to see if there are rules about this.'
In a letter to