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Golden wedding Britons snub chance to leave coronavirus cruise liner

Fear being split up: David and Sally Abel

A BRITISH couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary on a virus-stricken cruise ship have turned down offers to bring them ashore.

David and Sally Abel have revealed that Japanese authorities have given them the chance to leave the Diamond Princess and go into a land-based quarantine unit.

But they have opted to remain in their cabins — and insisted they would rather both test positive for Covid-19 than have one of them escape unscathed. The Diamond Princess, with 3,711 passengers and crew onboard, has been docked off Yokohama since February 3 and is expected to remain there until at least next Wednesday.

The number of occupants diagnosed with Covid-19 has leapt by another 44 to 219, including at least three Britons.

In a video posted on Facebook, Mrs Abel, from Northamptonshire, said: ‘The Japanese health authorities have said if anyone tests negative they will be given the option to either stay on board and continue their quarantine or they could go to a Japanese housing unit. If that was the case for us, we’re obviously going to be better off language-wise staying on board.’

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘We’ve been together 50 years and the thought of one of us being positive and one not and being split up is very scary.’

Ship stuck at sea for two weeks allowed to dock

Precaution: Medics unload equipment from a helicopter, so they can carry out checks on people aboard the ship PICTURE: AP

A CRUISE ship stranded at sea for two weeks after being refused entry by four countries in south-east Asia docked in Cambodia yesterday.

Medics unloaded equipment from a helicopter to carry out health checks on passengers aboard MS Westerdam, before it sailed into the port city of Sihanoukville. The vessel had earlier been banned from docking in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines over concerns it could expose the countries to the virus.

The Westerdam, operated by the Holland America Line, said no cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed among its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members.