Home Europe Romanian frigate drops out of NATO mission after COVID-19 outbreak

Romanian frigate drops out of NATO mission after COVID-19 outbreak

ROS Regina Maria
Photo: NATO

Romanian Navy frigate ROS Regina Maria is forced to prematurely complete its mission with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and return to Romania after a sizeable portion of her crew tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a statement from NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM), the crew was tested for COVID-19 on November 9 and it was found that a significant number of the crew had tested positive.

Upon arrival in the Port of Constanta, Romania, containment and quarantine measures will be applied to the entire crew on board the ship and the health of crew will be monitored on an ongoing basis. If the health of some crew members requires additional measures, they will be evacuated and admitted to medical treatment facilities in accordance with the national procedures in force, MARCOM said.

ROS Regina Maria was part of the SNMG2, a group whose operations focus on the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The group had just concluded its participation in the Turkish exercise Mavi Balina 2020, which ran in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea between October 30 and November 10.

This is the second known COVID-19 outbreak onboard a warship in the Mediterranean Sea. In September, a third of the crew aboard Italian Navy FREMM frigate ITS Margottini, which was deployed on a Libyan arms embargo mission in the Mediterranean Sea, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

US and French aircraft carriers were also affected by the global pandemic, as well as a Dutch submarine, which was forced to cancel its participation in the major naval maneuver Joint Warrior.