HMS Queen Elizabeth: Carrier's Portsmouth Departure Delayed For Coronavirus Tests

HMS Queen Elizabeth's departure from Portsmouth has been delayed in order for her crew to be tested for coronavirus.

Forces News understands the aircraft carrier was due to sail from port next Tuesday for two months.

The original plan was for her to stay close to the south coast for two weeks, potentially at anchor, with nobody allowed to join the ship for the fortnight, with the aim of preventing crew members being infected with coronavirus.

Any personnel or staff joining HMS Queen Elizabeth after that period would have been required to self-isolate for two weeks.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, in HMNB Portsmouth.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, seen in the background, is one of two Royal Navy aircraft carriers in Portsmouth.

A Royal Navy source said in the last 24 hours they have been given the opportunity to test the carrier's crew for COVID-19 before they set sail, stating it is "right and proper" they do so in order to ensure the safety of those on board.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is now expected to sail in the middle of next week once testing is complete.

Earlier this month, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which has more than confirmed 500 cases of coronavirus, confirmed its first death from COVID-19.

The French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, has also confirmed hundreds of cases of coronavirus amongst its crew.

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