Coronavirus Wuhan evacuees leave Milton Keynes quarantine

More than 100 Britons and their families who were flown back to the UK from coronavirus-hit Wuhan have returned home after two weeks spent in quarantine.

Some 118 people were being released from Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes, with guests holding backpacks and suitcases pictured getting taxis.

One evacuee told of his relief at being allowed to return home, but said the group had been well looked after during their 14-day stay at the conference centre.

The group, who were brought back to Britain earlier this month on a repatriation flight from Wuhan, included around 10 children and a family of four.

Paul Walkinshaw, from Manchester, had been on holiday visiting his wife's family in the city of Shiyan for Chinese New Year when family members contacted them and told them about the virus outbreak.

Speaking to reporters as he left the centre on Sunday morning, he said: “It feels fantastic to leave although it feels weird not having to wear a mask and gloves in public.

“The first 48 hours were hard when we were confined to our rooms, after that it was fine.”

The 39-year-old praised “friendly” staff and the local community for their support and said he was looking forward to sleeping in his own bed again.

The evacuees stayed at Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes for two weeks. Credit: PA

It comes as dozens of evacuees from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship spent their first night quarantined at Arrowe Park hospital on the Wirral.

Thirty-two people, who spent more than two weeks trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan, arrived in Merseyside on Saturday evening.

Some of the group – reportedly made up of 30 Britons and two Irish nationals – made gestures from their coaches as they arrived at the Merseyside facility on Saturday evening – one forming a heart symbol with her hands and another an "okay" signal.

All of those who arrived at Arrowe Park tested negative to having Covid-19 before flying back to the UK.

However, four Brits who were on the cruise ship were not allowed home after developing coronavirus, among them were Sally and David Abel who documented their quarantine on the cruise ship.

Sally and David Abel have both been diagnosed with pneumonia. Credit: David Abel

On Saturday, it was announced that both Mr and Mrs Abel had contracted pneumonia.

The Abels were on the cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary when it was placed into quarantine.

Mr Abel has now been diagnosed with acute pneumonia, while Mrs Abel has mild pneumonia.

On Sunday it was announced that the death toll in mainland China from Covid-19 - a respiratory disease caused by the latest strain of coronavirus - has risen by 97 to 2,442, Chinese health authorities said.