PASSENGERS sailing aboard a cruise ship which left from Southampton have tested positive for Coronavirus.

A "small number of individuals" onboard MS Braemar were tested for COVID-19 Coronavirus.

According to cruise ship operator Fred Olsen, some of those tests have returned a positive result.

The patients who were initially struck down with "influenza-like symptoms" will remain on board in isolation.

They will receive treatment from the ship's medical team.

The tests were carried out after two guests were diagnosed with the virus after leaving the ship last week.

It is claimed that neither guest showed any symptoms before travelling or while they were on board the ship, and did not visit the medical centre.

Both guests who disembarked last week were travelling on a Caribbean cruise.

The "highest level of sanitisation" is now in place aboard the ship - this includes the suspension of self-service buffets and increased cleaning around the vessel.

According to the cruise ship operator, the captain, medical team and senior officials continue to keep all guests and crew updated on board.

Braemar is continuing to sail to Barbados as planned and is due to dock in Southampton on March 28.

MS Braemar can accommodate up to 929 passengers and is on a cruise of the western Caribbean and Central America.

A spokesperson for the cruise line said: "The safety and well-being of all our guests and crew is our number one priority and we are taking the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and World Health Organisation, as well as Public Health England and Cruise Lines International Association.

"We are in contact with UK public health authorities on any required actions and will keep those on board updated with further information as we receive it.

"The individuals who have received a positive diagnosis have been given an out-of-hours phone number for them and their relatives to call. For all other enquiries from guests on board, and their relatives, we would ask them to call our Guest Services team at our UK Head Office on 0800 0355 145 from 8am Wednesday)morning."