British grandmother on Grand Princess coronavirus cruise ship says she’s going 'stir crazy'

More than 140 Britons are on board the coronavirus-hit cruise ship the Grand Princess (AFP via Getty Images)

A British grandmother stuck on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship has said she is going “stir crazy”.

Margaret Bartlett, 77, from Burnley, Lancashire, is among 142 Britons on board the Grand Princess which had been barred from docking off the coast of California.

The ship will finally dock at Oakland on Monday, but it will take a number of days for all passengers to disembark.

It was stopped from docking after 21 people on board tested positive for coronavirus.

Families of Britons on board called the decision to quarantine the vessel a “death sentence”.

Bartlett told the BBC a passenger who was staying 10 cabins away has died.

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Bartlett, who has been confined to her cabin, said: "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.

Airmen deliver coronavirus test-kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California (Reuters)
The Port of Oakland, where the Grand Princess cruise ship carrying passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus is expected to dock (Reuters)

"We are hoping something will get done. It is terrible."

Britons on board the ship have been confined to their cabins since Thursday.

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A spokeswoman for operator Princess Cruises said: "Disembarkation will commence in order of priority, as defined and directed by both state and local authorities. It is expected to be a multiple-day process."

The crew will remain on board the ship as it departs from San Francisco Bay once all guests are off, t spokeswoman added.

Passengers will be tested for the virus once they arrive at their onward destination.

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The UK government said it has been in contact with all Britons on the ship and is "working intensively" to arrange a repatriation flight.

A spokesman said: "We are working intensively with the US authorities on arrangements for a flight for British nationals who are currently on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California.

A passenger walks along the Grand Princess as it maintains a holding pattern about 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco, California (AFP via Getty Images)

"We are in contact with all British nationals on board to offer assistance, as well as local authorities and staff on board the ship."

Passenger Neil Hanlon, from Bridgwater in Somerset, told BBC Breakfast: "(We're feeling) very suppressed, very tired, fed up. Just want to get home."

Princess Cruises also owns the Diamond Princess, which was placed into quarantine in Japan last month. A British man on board became the first person from the UK to die from the coronavirus.