A RYEDALE restaurant has extended its annual closure after staff members returned from holiday in China - the country at the heart of the coronavirus.

The chefs, who work at the Queen’s Head Cantonese restaurant in Amotherby, are said to be showing no signs of the virus, but have opted to self-isolate for two weeks.

The restaurant, which closes each January for the Chinese New Year, was due to reopen tomorrow (Thursday), but will now reopen on February 21.

Alice Lin, one of the owners, said the staff, who are from south-east China near the city Fuzhou, had stayed at home while in the country, only going out to buy things when they were needed.

“They said they were pretty safe there and everyone was wearing masks when they went out to protect themselves and other people around them,” she said.

“It has been a worry. While none of the staff are showing any symptoms of coronavirus, we have decided to stay closed as a precaution as the health of both our staff and our customers are our priority.

“During this time our staff who have been to China are remaining in self-contained isolation.”

Alice said customers had been very supportive of the decision.

“We have had lots of positive comments on Facebook and were very surprised by the amount of support we have received from our customers, which we are very grateful for,” she added.

Four more people in England have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.

It comes as the Government declared coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” as it introduced new powers to deal with the spread of the virus.

Under new measures announced on Monday, the Department of Health said people with coronavirus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, and can be forcibly sent into isolation if they pose a threat to public health.

A spokesperson said: “Our infection control procedures are world leading and the NHS is well prepared to deal with novel coronavirus.

“We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

They added: “This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”