Passengers from coronavirus-hit cruise land in UK ahead of quarantine

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.

The evacuees have spent more than two weeks trapped on the coronavirus-stricken ship off the coast of Japan.

It is unclear where the small number of EU citizens will be taken following the plane landing in the UK.

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.