A BRITISH couple trapped on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship in California say they are in a “life and death situation”.
Leo and Denise McConkey, from London, are among the 140 Brits stranded on the Grand Princess, which has been circling San Francisco Bay, after 21 passengers tested positive for the virus.
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One former 75-year-old guest on the ship, which is about to finally dock in nearby Oakland, died from the COVID-19 bug last week.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Leo and Denise say they have been told Americans passengers will be the first to leave the ship and there is still no news on when international guests will disembark.
Denise said “it's like being in prison” saying they have no interaction with staff adding “they knock on the door, leave the food on the floor and walk away.”
The couple said they have heard “nothing whatsoever” from UK officials.
Leo said: “We hear more from our friends and family back home
“The next stage they are going to start disembarking Americans tomorrow.
“We still don’t know what will happen to international travellers.”
He added: “We are in a life and death situation. It seems like no one cares.”
NO CONTACT FROM UK
Leo said he left his cabin yesterday and was told by staff they would “lock me up if I didn’t go back.”
He says passengers have been trapped inside their rooms since Thursday.
The ship has been circling San Francisco Bay for days and will soon move east towards nearby Oakland where it will dock.
Leo says they will be tested when they eventually disembark.
Another Brit on board, Margaret Bartlett, 77, said she is going "stir crazy" after being confined to her room which has no balcony.
The grandmother said the food on the cruise ship is "rotten" and she is dreading spending more days trapped in her tiny cabin.
She told the BBC: "The food is rotten and terrible and we have to fight for it. It is not good enough."
"We are going stir crazy stuck in the cabin. It is a bit depressing when we saw land and it was sunny and we couldn't get out.
"We are hoping something will get done. It is terrible."
Meanwhile, UK health chiefs have issued fresh advice for the elderly — telling them to stay at home and avoid crowded areas.
And a petition by a mum urging the Government to consider shutting schools hit 130,000, meaning Parliament must consider debating it.
The Foreign Office was last night seeking “urgent clarification” after it emerged Brits visiting Russia were being asked to sign a document agreeing to self-isolate for 14 days.
Media reports claimed the UK was on a list of countries deemed to be “high risk” by Moscow.
Elsewhere, there is a ban on travelling in or out of 12 provinces in Italy, which has had 233 deaths.
And the Pope has cancelled his main public appearances and will stream them online instead.
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