Hundreds of British citizens being flown back to the UK from Wuhan this Thursday will be put in isolated quarantine for two weeks on their arrival.
They will be given all necessary medical attention”, a Downing Street spokesman said.
He said the government would confirm the location they will be held in due course but offered no comment on reports it would be a military base.
“Our priority is to keep British nationals and their families together,” he added.
Those returning from other parts of China will not be affected, but have been advised to “self-isolate” for 14 days.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at 16:30 GMT.
It is believed passengers will be required to sign a contract committing to the quarantine period.
Australia will quarantine its 600 citizen), Japan, the US and EU nations are also repatriating citizens.
The virus has caused more than 130 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries.
It comes as British Airways suspends all direct flights to and from mainland China because of the coronavirus outbreak.
All flights have been suspended until 3 February, with the airline’s website showing no direct flights to either Shanghai or Beijing available until March. A spokesperson for British Airways said the airline is “urgently assessing the situation”.
The spokeswoman said: “We have suspended all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect following advice from the Foreign Office against all but essential travel.
“Flights are currently suspended until Monday, February 3rd as we continually review our schedule according to advice from the authorities.
“We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.
“Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on ba.com.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic are offering full refunds for passengers wishing to cancel their flights to Shanghai. The airline will continue to operate flights to mainland China as scheduled, but customers wishing to rebook or cancel are advised to contact them.
Coronavirus outstrips Sars
On Tuesday evening cases of coronavirus overtook the total of Sars cases in 2003-04, with the number of deaths reaching 132 and over 6,000 cases confirmed.