Covid outbreak on HMS Queen Elizabeth delays deployment

Look out China, Carrier Strike Group has a busy Autumn in the Indo-Pacific

HMS Queen Elizabeth. Image: Wikipedia

Covid outbreak on Carrier Strike Group includes HMS Queen Elizabeth and delays deployment.

Reports are coming in of a coronavirus outbreak in the Carrier 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 10 Marine Corps F35-B fighters, and is currently operating in the Indo-Pacific. The upcoming exercise is a key part of the work-up to declaring initial operating capability (IOC) for Carrier Strike.

A Royal Navy spokesman confirmed the report, saying 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 onboard including masks, social distancing and a track and trace system. The Carrier Strike Group will continue to deliver their operational tasks and there are no effects on the deployment.”


Last year, the crew of HMS Northumberland was forced to return to shore and isolate over Christmas after “a number of suspected Covid cases” on board.

The world tour is HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment and it is expected to cover a distance of 26,000 miles- approx 41,500 kilometres. The £3bn – €3.52bn warship departed from Portsmouth Naval Base in May this year.

The Queen and the prime minister both went onboard before it headed off for the Indo-Pacific region.

The ship began sea trials in 2017, having replaced HMS Illustrious which was scrapped in 2014.

It has eight RAF and 10 US Marine Corps F35B stealth fighter jets onboard and will be accompanied to Asia by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines.

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.