More crew on HMS Queen Elizabeth test positive for Covid-19 ahead of planned Friday sailing

MORE crew members on HMS Queen Elizabeth have tested positive for Covid-19.

By Ben Fishwick
Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:27 pm

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is currently in Portsmouth after her scheduled departure yesterday was postponed.

It comes after ‘fewer than 10’ sailors tested positive on September 7. That delayed her departure from Portsmouth Naval Base until two days later.

She then returned to her homeport on Sunday to collect supplies for F-35B fighter jet trials.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives into Portsmouth on September 13, 2020. Picture: Ben Dollery

Now the Royal Navy has confirmed ‘additional positive cases’ onboard the £3.1bn warship.

Her remaining 1,000-strong crew are following Public Health England guidelines.

Some who tested positive last week have since been cleared to return to work having tested negative.

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A Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘Retesting the ship’s company has confirmed a number of additional positive cases.

‘Those individuals have been removed from the ship and the remaining ship’s company continue to follow PHE guidelines.’

‘The timing of sailing of our ships is dependent upon a number of factors. The decision to sail rests with the captain.’

The ship is listed as being due to sail from Portsmouth on Friday at around 1pm-2pm.

She is set to conduct test embarkation of both US and British F-35B jets. Navy bosses hope she will be operational by 2021.

Queen Elizabeth’s commanding officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh will make the decision when she will depart.

Government advice for outbreaks onboard ships says people with confirmed cases should self-isolate in their cabins.

Meals must be left outside their door and anyone who goes in should wear PPE but only enter if essential.

Other people onboard must wash their hands more frequently and surfaces should be disinfected regularly.

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