Britons quarantined aboard 'ghost town' cruise ship amid Coronavirus fears

A British cruise ship passenger quarantined onboard a ship in Japan amid Coronavirus fears has said the vessel resembles a "ghost town", as the majority of its 3,000 passengers remain confined to their rooms.

The Diamond Princess has been left in limbo in Yokohama Bay, awaiting tests results for those on board before authorities will allow passengers and crew to leave.

Japanese media TBS News is reporting 10 passengers on board The Diamond Princess have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Japan ordered the ship, owned and operated by Princess Cruises, into quarantine after an 80-year-old passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong on January 25 tested positive for Coronavirus.

Chinese authorities have said some 425 people have died from the virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan.

David Abel said parts of the ship, which are normally crowded with people, now resemble a ghost town. Credit: David Abel/PA

David Abel, who is on board with his wife Sally, was due to fly home to the UK on Monday but had to cancel their flight after the ship was denied permission to dock.

The couple, from Woodford Halse in Oxfordshire, now have an open return, as they do not know when the quarantine will be lifted.

Officials boarded the ship on Monday night and told passengers they would be running medical checks on everyone.

This took from midnight until 7pm local time to complete.

Mr Abel said he and his wife "didn’t get much sleep last night, as we were waiting for that knock on the door to be checked".

The normally-busy lounge area is deserted. Credit: David Abel/PA

The couple had their temperatures taken, asked if they had a cough and if they were taking any medication to reduce their temperature.

"The ship is like a ghost town, it’s really weird," he said.

"I went for a walk around a part of the ship that is normally really busy – the musicians were still out playing, but where there normally would have been crowds of people, I saw maybe 20.

"Even the shopping areas where it would be packed are empty."

They have now decided to self-quarantine in their room, like many of the other passengers.

The ship could be quarantined for up to two weeks. Credit: David Abel/PA

"We haven’t been told this, but my gut instinct is we will be quarantined on the ship – although they could take us to a medical facility.

"We just don’t know," Mr Abel said.

"We are trying not to be worried… these things happen.

"It’s a bit frustrating because we just want to get on with our lives – and we are worried about our two Yorkshire Terrier dogs left at home."

Mr Abel and his wife arrived on the ship 15 days ago and said it visited five more ports after the man carrying the Coronavirus disembarked – after his illness came to light they had to undergo more health checks to visit their final port.

The couple said it could be up to eight hours until they are told what will happen next.

The ship, which is more than 900 ft long, has a total capacity of 3,770 passengers and crew.

She was previously voted the "best international cruise ship in Japan" by Cruise Magazine.

The self-imposed quarantine comes as Britons still in China have been advised to leave by the Foreign Office in a bid to "minimise their exposure to the virus".