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HMS Queen Elizabeth: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 87642, tabled on 9 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the latest outbreak of covid-19 onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth will effect the vessel's ability to declare carrier strike capability ahead of its first operational deployment in 2021.

Answered on

17 September 2020

Extensive COVID-19 quarantine and testing procedures were developed and successfully employed, prior to sailing in UK waters, and these continue to be refined. Although there was a two-day delay for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH sailing, extant measures have proven our ability to detect, contain and manage COVID-19 ahead of bringing the Strike Group together. We remain on track, ensuring our ability to deliver training exercises, declare Initial Operating Capability (Carrier Strike) and conduct the first operational deployment in 2021, all as scheduled.

Individuals who present as symptomatic or who have tested positive have been isolated ashore and, while at sea, any individual who experiences symptoms will be isolated onboard in accordance with Public Health England guidelines and receive the appropriate medical attention. We continue to work with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further, and with Public Health England to ensure all appropriate control measures are in place.