Brits on coronavirus cruise ship ‘spared quarantine’ as they land in UK

Some 135 Brits who have returned home from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship will not be placed in quarantine, according to a report.

Instead, the Grand Princess passengers have been told to self-isolate at home, despite 21 people on board the ship testing positive for the disease.

One of those aboard the vessel even died from the deadly bug – while fellow guests were locked in their cabins for six days.

The British passengers were delighted to finally leave the ship at the Port of Oakland, in San Francisco Bay, US, yesterday.

Among their number are both guests and crew members, including several dancers who provided on board entertainment.

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The 747 jet carrying the 135 British nationals and their dependants landed at Birmingham Airport this afternoon.

Stairs had been pushed up against the front and rear exits of the plane, where Border Force staff in hi-vis jackets could be seen.

An older couple, both wearing face masks, were the first passengers off the aircraft – with the woman seen to get in the back of a waiting ambulance.

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Luggage was being taken from the cargo hold using a conveyor.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed that the returning British guests will be spared quarantine, unlike those who were passengers on the Diamond Princess, in Japan, a report states.

PHE told The Sun : "The British nationals returning from the Grand Princess cruise ship will be asked to self-isolate at home and followed up on by PHE on a daily basis as a precautionary approach."

It is said the Brits will make their own way home when they return to the UK.

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Speaking on board the ship, passenger Neil Hanlon, from Bridgwater in Somerset, said: "(We're feeling) very suppressed, very tired, fed up. Just want to get home."

Mr Hanlon said food was limited on the vessel, while his wife added: "We just want to get back to Britain, really."

Britain's coronavirus count has increased to 456 after 83 more people tested positive in the biggest single-day increase yet.

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It is a jump of 22 per cent on the previous total of 373 at 9am on Tuesday.

England had the most cases (387), including 104 in London, followed by Scotland (36), Northern Ireland (18) and Wales (15).

The Department of Health said: "As of 9am on 11 March 2020, 27,476 people have been tested in the UK, of which 27,020 were confirmed negative and 456 were confirmed as positive.

"Six patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died."

The latest infections include Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who became the first MP to be diagnosed with Covid-19 and is now in isolation as offices in Parliament are sealed off.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the blunt admission that the Covid-19 form of the coronavirus should now be "characterized as a pandemic".

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