The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered officials to quarantine Britons repatriated to the UK from Wuhan, China for 14 days.
Locations for the quarantine are to be confirmed but are understood to include military bases.
Australia plans to quarantine some 600 of its returning citizens for two weeks on Christmas Island, over 1,000 miles away from the mainland.
The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, can be passed on to others while in the incubation period and without the carrier displaying symptoms.
The precaution comes after the Foreign Office changed its travel advice to warn against all but essential travel to mainland China.
British Airways also announced it is suspending all flights to mainland China for two days to assess the latest situation.
Some 6,000 people have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus and more than 100 have been killed.