'Around 100' Covid cases on ship carrying RAF Marham jets

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrio

F35 jets from RAF Marham are aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth – where some crew members have tested positive for Covid-19. - Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A Covid outbreak has been confirmed in the Carries Strike Group (CSG) which includes the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The aircraft carrier is about a quarter of the way through a 28-week deployment leading the CSG, which includes a US destroyer and F35 fighters based at RAF Marham, and is currently in the Indo-Pacific.

The BBC said it had been told there are "around 100" cases on board.

A Royal Navy spokesman said in a statement: "As part of routine testing, a small number of crew from the Carrier Strike Group have tested positive for Covid-19.

"All personnel deployed in the UK CSG have received both doses of the Covid vaccine and there are a number of mitigation measures on board including masks, social distancing and a track and trace system.

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"The Carrier Strike Group will continue to deliver their operational tasks and there are no effects on the deployment."

It comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Tuesday pointed to the deployment as an example of the way UK and US militaries were able to operate "seamlessly" together.

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Also on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed an investigation was being undertaken after a crew member of Type 23 frigate HMS Kent, also part of the CSG, died.

The frigate recently visited Greece where senior figures from the Greek navy visited and the crew had a chance to tour a classic Greek warship.

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