People trying to protect themselves from the virus. | JEROME FAVRE

At least six British people have been infected with coronavirus by a British man who caught it in Singapore then travelled to France and Britain.

Eight people in the UK are now known to have the virus and they have been taken to the infectious disease units at Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Free Hospital in London.

The French authorities said yesterday that five Britons, including a nine-year-old child, were staying in the same ski chalet in Les Contamines-Montjoie as a British man from Majorca who has just been diagnosed with the virus.

Biological samples from the British man, his wife and two daughters were sent to Madrid and analysis found that the father has the virus but the rest of the family do not.

Health Officials in Spain and the UK are desperately trying to contact anyone who’s been in contact with the infected patients in an effort to get them treatment and stop them infecting other people.