UK Naval Crew Self-Isolate After Suspected CCP Virus Outbreak

December 24, 2020 Updated: December 24, 2020

Crew members onboard a Royal Navy warship have been ordered to self-isolate following a suspected CCP virus outbreak, Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed on Thursday.

“Following a number of suspected COVID cases onboard HMS Northumberland, the crew are now following health guidelines and protocols to isolate,” a Royal Navy spokesperson said.

HMS Northumberland
HMS Northumberland, a Royal Navy frigate, seen in the foreground, monitors the movements of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov, a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer, as she sailed northwest of the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, in this photo released by the Royal Navy on Dec. 4, 2020. (Ministry of Defence)

“The Royal Navy continues to meet all operational tasks over Christmas, as it has done throughout this pandemic,” the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

The British government has put many parts of the country under strict lockdown measures to stem the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

Restrictions have been stepped up after a new variant of the virus was detected in England. Dozens of countries in Europe and beyond have banned travellers from the UK.

HMS Northumberland, a Type 23 frigate, was recently involved in a Royal Navy operation monitoring Russian warships in waters near Britain.

She was one of eight Royal Navy ships in a concerted operation observing Russian vessels in the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, and waters close to Scotland over a two-week period from late November to early December.

The frigate watched the movements of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov, a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer, as she sailed northwest of the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, the Royal Navy said in a press release issued on Dec. 4.

“Despite the increase in Russian activity, both on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond,” said Britain’s most senior sailor, First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, at the time.

“Even with the pressures of COVID, we remain at short notice to respond to threats both in home waters and around the world,” he said.

Over the festive period, around 3,000 Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Marines, and Fleet Air Arm personnel continue to be either on duty or at short notice to respond to events at home and abroad, the Royal Navy said on Dec. 23.

Admiral Radakin said 2020 had been “an extraordinary year” which had placed tremendous demands on the Royal Navy.

“I have been immensely proud of the way the entire Royal Navy has responded,” he said in his end-of-year message.

Mary Clark contributed to this report.