A repatriation flight carrying 32 British and European evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed back in the UK.
The plane, which also carried British government and medical staff, touched down at the Ministry of Defence base Boscombe Down in Wiltshire shortly after 1130am on Saturday morning.
Passengers will now be taken 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.
Before boarding the flight all passengers tested negative for Covid-19.
The evacuees have spent more than two weeks trapped on the coronavirus-stricken ship off the coast of Japan.
There were also a small number of EU citizens on board they flight, It is unclear where they will be taken following the plane landing in the UK.
In a statement issued after the plane landed, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
“We have brought 32 British and European citizens safely home from Japan.
“The FCO worked hard to get them back to the UK securely.
“Our number one priority has consistently been the health and safety of UK nationals.”
The four Britons on board the Diamond Princess who have tested positive for coronavirus were not on the flight.
Arrowe Park was previously used to host 83 British nationals for a 14-day quarantine period earlier in February after they were flown out of Wuhan in China, which has been at the centre of the outbreak.
Since being kept on board the cruise liner in the port of Yokohama, a total of 634 passengers and crew have been infected, accounting for more than half of all the confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China.
It is understood some British nationals who are part of the Diamond Princess crew opted to remain.
In order to help combat the spread of the virus in the UK, the NHS has started pilots of home testing for coronavirus where NHS staff, including nurses and paramedics, will visit people in their own homes.
Cover Image: An aircraft repatriating British people to the UK from a cruise ship hit by the coronavirus in Yokohama, Japan, arrives at MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. (Picture: PA).