A WOMAN living and working in Italy fears the coronavirus outbreak could prevent her from spending her last Mother's Day with her dying mum who is in an Ellesmere Port care home.

Amanda Hunter is hoping her flight back to the UK on Friday from the city of Udine, in the north-eastern part of Italy, is not cancelled amid restrictions on travel in and out of the country, which is the worst-hit after China.

If she does manage to return then she will have to self-isolate for two weeks before she is allowed to see her mother Ann Hunter at Mayfields Dementia Care Home in Overpool, who is in the final stages of her battle with Alzheimer's.

The 83-year-old, who lived in Chester during the 1970s and 80s, returned to the UK from Botswana, where she worked as a missionary, due to her illness back in 2016.

Ann initially lived in Callin Court in the city centre, as her son and Amanda's brother Andy lives in Chester, before moving to Ellesmere Port last year.

Amanda, who works in Italy as a teacher and translator, said: "She's stable but slowly dying. She's very weak and frail. It's very sad to see. To be here at the moment and not know when I will be able to see her again is awful.

"They are cancelling all flights in and out of Italy from late Friday evening. My flight is early evening and still going ahead at the moment, but I'm very worried.

"I don't know how long she has got – it could be weeks, it could be months. I'm desperate to spend time with her. But I'm going to have to self-isolate for two weeks if I can get back into the UK, which of course is necessary to do, and then hope that nothing happens in that time.

"I was due to fly back for Mother’s Day, which will no doubt be her last, and will now be prevented from spending the day with her."

Amanda, who lives and works in Udine for all but four to six months of the year when she returns to live with her best friend in Cambridgeshire, believes all people flying in from highly-infected areas should be tested for coronavirus at airports.

She said: "I don't think Britain is being cautious enough. You should be tested at the airports, you shouldn't be left to self-isolate.

"We should take note from what is happening in Italy."

Amanda is also unsure what the future holds for her as work has dried up in Italy due to the crisis.

She said: "If I return to the UK I don't know when I'll be able to get back. I rent there because I live between the two countries. Work has dried up because people won't come for lessons and they don't like to Skype.

"It's unlikely I'd get work back again until after the summer and I can't justify paying for a flat for six months. It's having such a huge impact on people's lives."

The start of the UK peak of the coronavirus epidemic is expected within the next fortnight, England’s deputy chief medical officer has said, as the sixth death in British hospitals was announced.

Dr Jenny Harries defended the Government’s decision to delay closing schools and the introduction of other stringent tactics, saying experts are assessing new cases on an hourly basis to achieve a “balanced response”.

The latest figures show that 319 people in the UK are now confirmed to have Covid-19, and six people have died.