Royal Navy submarine-hunting warship forced back to shore after Covid-19 outbreak among crew

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A Royal Navy top brass cut its warship’s operations short, making it return to port and ordering the crew to isolate over the Christmas period after a suspected Covid-19 outbreak onboard.

A Royal Navy spokesman said on Thursday that the HMS Northumberland had been forced to return to the Devonport Naval Base, near Plymouth, on Wednesday, following a suspected outbreak of Covid-19 among the crew. 

“Following a number of suspected Covid cases onboard HMS Northumberland, the crew are now following health guidelines and protocols to isolate,” the spokesman explained. 

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

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The Type 23 frigate has been kitted out with specialist sensors to hunt for foreign submarines and was called to protect UK waters over the festive period.

Last month, the HMS Northumberland shadowed the Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov as the ship sailed round the North West of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. 

The Royal Navy announced earlier this month that it had monitored nine Russian vessels around the UK in the previous two weeks. 

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