Flight attendants 'sealed off': Details from eerie Qantas coronavirus evacuation flight

The flight crew helping stranded Australians out of Wuhan amid the coronavirus crisis are all volunteers.

The Qantas 747 carrying four pilots, 14 cabin crew and officials from the Department of Health left Australia late Sunday and was on the tarmac on Monday morning in Wuhan in central China.

About 270 passengers boarded the plane at 8am (AEST) for the first of two flights that will help hundreds of Aussies evacuate the locked-down city, the ABC reported.

All passengers and crew members will be required to wear masks, which will be swapped out every hour, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Crew members will be required to wear masks and gloves during the flight from Wuhan to Australia. Source: AAP

There will be a limited food and beverage service to minimise interaction between crew and passengers and the 747 plane will be thoroughly cleaned afterwards.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the volunteer crew are ready "to get this done”.

"I spoke to the crew last night through FaceTime video and they were all very keen to get this done and get the Aussies out," he said.

"We put in a whole series of protections for these volunteers to make sure that they are protected. 

Mr Joyce said the crew have gloves, and sanitisers and will be placed on the upper deck of the aircraft.

"They are there for safety reasons to use on the doors and on takeoff and landing," Mr Joyce said.

"In-flight, there is water left on the seats. The crew go back to the upper deck, which is sealed."

The Qantas 747 carrying four pilots and 14 cabin crew left Australia late Sunday and is now on the ground in Wuhan, in Hubei province in central China. Source: AAP

There have been 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia

There are now more than 14,000 cases of the virus globally, with just over 300 deaths.

The federal government has announced foreign travellers who have left or passed through China will be denied entry to Australia to offset the risk of the virus spreading.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, dependants, legal guardians and spouses, are exempt from the strict measures.

Some 71 travellers to Australia were not allowed to board their plane in China overnight and 12 flights were cancelled on Sunday.

Seventeen Portuguese and two Brazilian citizens returning from the virus-hit city of Wuhan disembark from a Portuguese Air Force C-130 airplane at a military airport in Lisbon. Source: AP

Evacuees will be airlifted from the epicentre of the coronavirus to Exmouth in northern Western Australia, before being taken to Christmas Island where they will be quarantined.

Planes from Poland, France, Portugal and the UK were seen landing in their respective countries on Monday after retrieving citizens from Wuhan.

with AAP

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