Beijing's Forbidden City - which saw 19 million visitors last year - is usually packed with tourists during the Lunar New Year festival, when hundreds of millions of people travel across China.
"The public can be assured that the whole of the United Kingdom is always well prepared for these type of outbreaks and we will remain vigilant and keep our response under constant review in light of emerging scientific evidence".
"All the fatalities have so far been contained to mainland China, however, this is a rapidly developing situation and the number of deaths and the number of cases is likely to be higher than those that have been confirmed so far and I expect them to rise further", Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the British parliament.
Health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.
The death in Hebei increases the total death toll in China from the virus to 18.
The release of seven movies over the Lunar New Year has been postponed. Deciding whether an outbreak amounts to an worldwide crisis therefore can also be politically fraught.
"We are closely monitoring the evolving situation in China, including the advisories issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO)", the embassy said. "It may yet become one".
"We know that there is human-to-human transmission in China but for now it appears limited to family groups and health workers caring for infected patients", he said.
Elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk.
In all, about 584 cases have been reported to the worldwide health agency, including 17 deaths. Chinese health officials warned it could mutate and spread further.
It is not yet known which hospitals are treating the patients, one of which is an Edinburgh student.
On Thursday night, the World Health Organisation's emergency committee said it was "too early" to declare an worldwide public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, anyone traveling from Wuhan to the U.S.is now being funneled through one of five airports - Atlanta, Chicago (O'Hare), Los Angeles, New York (JFK), and San Francisco - for screening.
An emergency declaration by the World Health Organization would have allowed the agency to begin coordinating government responses.
The central city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged, was put on lockdown Thursday, with outbound trains and planes indefinitely suspended.
The WHO has come under fire in the past for raising the alert too soon as well as too late. The agency declared global health emergencies for the Zika virus in 2016, the Ebola and polio outbreaks in 2014, and the 2009 swine flu.
In 2014, World Health Organization resisted declaring the devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa to be a global emergency because it feared the announcement would anger Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Another outbreak of that illness last July in the Democratic Republic of Congo was also deemed to be a public health emergency, nearly a year after the contagion first erupted.
So far, the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, has sickened more than 640 people around the world, with cases reaching as far as the USA and leaving 18 dead.