Royal Navy warship defending UK waters forced into lockdown after Covid outbreak

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The crew of a Royal Navy warship defending British waters has been forced back to shore and ordered to isolate over Christmas.

A number of suspected coronavirus cases have been found on board of the HMS Northumberland, the Navy said.

HMS Northumberland, which is designed to hunt for submarines, had been on call to protect UK waters over the festive period.

Only last week the Navy said that HMS Northumberland Sailors were “preparing for Christmas away from home” as they continue on a “vital mission” to protect UK waters.

But the Type 23 frigate has now been forced to return to Devonport Naval Base, near Plymouth, on Wednesday.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: "Following a number of suspected Covid cases onboard HMS Northumberland, the crew are now following health guidelines and protocols to isolate.

"The Royal Navy continues to meet all operational tasks over Christmas, as it has done throughout this pandemic."

The ship has been called into action recently, the BBC reported, having escorted a Russian boat from Scotland.

  • Russia is 'flexing its muscles' as Vladimir Putin sends 10 warships to British waters

HMS Northumberland escorted the Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov as she sailed near the west coast.

The Ministry of Defence recently revealed that the Navy had monitored nine Russian ships sailing in in UK waters since November.

It is not the first Royal Navy ship to be forced into quarantine this month.

HMS Vengence crew were ordered to isolate as an officer tested positive for the killer virus only days before they were due to sail, Daily Star reported earlier this month.

Sailors were grounded after officials broke coronavirus restrictions to meet up with partners.

It is understood that as many as 30 officials contracted the virus at the start of December after they broke rules to meet up with loved ones.

  • Coronavirus
  • Royal Navy

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