Cruise passengers pose "absolutely no risk" to people of Wirral says health minister

A repatriation flight carrying 32 British and European evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed in the UK on Saturday morning.

The plane, which also carried British government and medical staff, touched down at Ministry of Defence base Boscombe Down in Wiltshire shortly after 1130am.

Passengers will now be taken by road to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral for 14 days of quarantine to protect against the spread of the illness should any of them be infected. They have so far tested negative for Covid-19.

Public health minister Jo Churchill said:

“I want to say a huge thanks to everyone on the Wirral and across Merseyside who have been working so hard to safely transport and look after British nationals at Arrowe Park. I know they will offer the same exceptional care and support to our new arrivals as they have already to nearly 100 others over the past two weeks.

“I am also grateful to Arrowe Park residents who have so generously given up their homes during this difficult time.

“I want to reassure everyone on the Wirral that there is absolutely no risk to them and their families. People will be isolated for 14 days under the careful supervision of medical professionals, and we are taking tried and tested infection control measures to prevent any possible spread of infection.”