Despite all personnel being fully vaccinated, a “small number” of covid-19 cases within Britain's Royal Navy has been reported.
The outbreak has been detected within the Carrier Strike Force which includes its flagship carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, a Navy spokesperson told the media.
The flotilla is currently deployed at sea and hence several 'mitigation measures onboard,' including masks, social distancing and a track and trace system.
It was also reported that there would be no effects on the operations tasks of the carrier group, which is about a quarter of the way through a 28-week deployment that involves visits to some 40 countries and 70 engagements.
The carrier group, which also includes a US destroyer and 10 Marine Corps F35-B fighters, is currently in the Indo-Pacific region.
News of the coronavirus infections comes a day after Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed an investigation was being undertaken into the death of a crew member of the Type 23 frigate HMS Kent, which is also part of the carrier group. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
According to some press reports, more than 100 cases of coronavirus have been detected within the multinational armada which involves a 3,700-strong crew and is said to have been sighted recently at Limassol, Cyprus.
“As part of routine testing, a small number of crew from the Carrier Strike Group have tested positive for Covid-19,” a Royal Navy spokesman said in a statement. “The Carrier Strike Group will continue to deliver their operational tasks and there are no effects on the deployment.”
It is the largest combined naval and air task force assembled under British command since the Falklands War and was expected to pass through the South China Sea.