A British couple quarantined onboard a Princess Cruises ship off the coast of Japan have criticised the UK government for failing to act on their calls for help.
David and Sally Abel made a direct video appeal to Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson to bring them home after the US pledged to airlift its citizens trapped onboard Diamond Princess, which has been under quarantine in the port of Yokohama for more than a fortnight.
The Abels face the prospect of a further period of quarantine when they eventually do return to the UK. The couple have been updating the world on their plight through a series of Facebook posts, updates and live videos.
Mr Abel said he had no confidence in Boris Johnson, and called on the prime minister to put himself in their shoes – and on the Foreign Office to repatriate them, adding he was “disillusioned” with the UK’s response.
Appealing to Branson, Mr Abel called for the mogul to dispatch one of Virgin’s smaller aircraft and bring the Britons onboard Diamond Princess back to the UK to see out their quarantine.
US and Australian authorities have taken steps to repatriate their citizens onboard the ship, who will be held at specialist facilities upon their return. Qantas will fly home dozens of Australians on Wednesday (19 February).
The Foreign Office said officials were working round the clock to “ensure the welfare of British nationals” onboard Diamond Princess.