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  1. ITV Report

Quarantined cruise ship passenger has 'no confidence' in PM as he appeals for Richard Branson's help

David Abel and his wife Sally have become unlikely celebrities. Credit: David Abel

A British man stuck on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan said he has "no confidence" in Boris Johnson.

David Abel also made an appeal to billionaire Richard Branson during a Facebook live video - asking the Virgin boss to charter a special plane for the British passengers.

He added despite being a “staunch Tory” he had “no confidence” in the prime minister.

Mr Abel said: “When he (Johnson) just says ‘keep calm, don’t panic’ – I’d like to see you in this situation, mate. I really would.”

Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave. Credit: AP

The USA, Canada and Italy have all said they will evacuate their citizens from the cruise ship, which is moored at Yokohama Port near Tokyo.

So far 355 of the 3,500 people on board the ship have tested positive for the virus.

Mr Abel added: "Every country except the UK has become involved, and that is really wonderful for the people on board the ship.

"Every country except for the United Kingdom.

"It feels that we have been forgotten. That you don't really care about us, and that you're actually not wanting us to come home."

It is understood that a repatriation flight is one of a number of options being considered by the Government.

David Abel has made an appeal to Richard Branson to help the Britons stuck onboard the quarantined cruise ship, the Diamond Princess. Credit: PA

Mr Abel has become an unlikely celebrity due to his videos and now he and his wife Sally have featured in news outlets across the world.

In the wake of his viral fame he said was now “appealing to one man”.

“So, Richard Branson, I want to ask you a question, pal,” he said in a video posted on Valentine’s Day.

“If you and your family were in this situation, what would you do? And please don’t say ‘chill out, stay calm’, that’s not what we want to hear.

“I’m asking, what would it cost to hire one of your smaller planes, put all the Brits onboard, no flight attendants, packaged food?

“Take us to Brize Norton, take us straight into the medical facility and let us do our quarantine there by people who can speak our language.”

Mr Abel has asked the Virgin boss to charter a special plane to bring British passengers home. Credit: PA

Mr and Mrs Abel previously said they have been given the option to leave and continue their quarantine ashore if they test negative for the virus but have chosen to remain onboard.

“I’m serious, Richard Branson, absolutely serious,” Mr Abel said.

“I think he is the man, he’s not afraid to speak his mind. He’s the guy who could resolve this for the Brits.”

He added: “Whatever the cost, we will somehow find a way of paying for that plane.

“Don’t know how but we wouldn’t want you to be out of pocket on that.

“But this is just how damned desperate some of the passengers are becoming.”

Becoming visibly emotional, he added: “We’ve had enough, we’ve really had enough.”

Schools messaged parents saying that they would authorise absences for families wishing to self-isolate. Credit: PA

Meanwhile health officials are to tell schools that they do not need to close or send staff and pupils home if there is a suspected case of coronavirus.

Public Health England (PHE) is expected to issue new guidance to schools on Monday saying that no restrictions or special control measures are needed while tests for Covid-19 are carried out on a suspected case.

While a pupil or staff member suspected of coming into contact with the virus is being tested, the guidance says no action is needed.

If a case of the virus is confirmed, then health protection teams will speak to the head teacher and action will be taken.

The new guidance comes the week after at least seven schools in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne were understood to have told parents that either a staff member or pupil has been advised to stay at home for 14 days by PHE.