Crew of the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and air defense frigate Chevalier Paul will be quarantined for a fortnight upon arrival in the port of Toulon today.
“Accommodation and food capacities will be set up at naval and naval air bases. In addition, screening tests will be carried out during this fortnight period in the containment zone and before the sailors return to their homes,” a press release (in French) from the French MoD said.
Fifty sailors and crew have been tested positive abroad the carrier after medical teams flew in and conducted tests on April 10. Three of them were flown to hospitals in France. The Charles de Gaulle has a crew of 2200.
The aircraft carrier group returns 10 days ahead of schedule after nearly three months of operations in the eastern Mediterranean and the North Sea. The airborne component and their crew will be sent to their base at Hyères (helicopters), Lann Bihoué (Hawkeye aircraft) and Landivisiau (Rafale fighter aircraft).
Several dozen cases of Covid-19 within the aircraft carrier and its escort justify specific measures on the return of sailors to mainland France, the release issued Saturday said.
The command, the health chain and all logistics managers are mobilized to allow the reception of sailors in the best sanitary and accommodation conditions.
The disinfection of buildings and aircraft by specialized teams will be undertaken to enable them to recover their full operational capacity as soon as possible.
In addition, the supply vessel Somme and the anti-submarine frigate La Motte-Picquet will return to Brest after carrying out an epidemiological investigation on board to determine the conditions under which the crew can be brought ashore.