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Coronavirus cruise ship couple blame language barrier for saying, incorrectly, they were ill

British passengers David and Sally Abel, quarantined on the Diamond Cruise ship, have not tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19, despite a Facebook post yesterday by Mr Abel stating they had.

David and Sally Abel, seen in a still from one of their live stream videos from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Source: David Abel / YouTube

The Abels have been public figures throughout the 14-day quarantine period, live streaming from their cabin and partaking in numerous interviews worldwide, including speaking to 1 NEWS near the beginning of the quarantine.

Yesterday in a Facebook post, Mr Abel said he and his wife have tested positive for Covid-19 and would be leaving for the hospital soon.

However, in another post today, he said a mis-translation led to him announcing he and his wife had Covid-19 yesterday.

"Massive communication error yesterday. The Japanese quarantine officials do not speak any English. They came to our door & told us to be ready to be taken to the hostel. My mindset was ‘virus’ and said ‘positive then’. He nodded," Mr Abel wrote

"I don’t think he was saying yes to the virus but positive we were moving out??

"He followed up by saying it will probably be just 4 or 5 days. You would not say that to a virus victim.

"The consulate in Tokyo are being very good with me. I am being listened to and Sally & I feel really well," he wrote.

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There’s a big catch to the evacuation – another fortnight in isolation, this time in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Abel has been contacted by 1 NEWS for additional comment.

Yesterday was supposed to be the last day for the enforced quarantine off Japan, after a passenger on board the ship was diagnosed with the virus two weeks ago.

But in the intervening days, hundreds more patients were diagnosed and hospitalised, including two New Zealanders.

Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the 11 healthy New Zealanders would be brought home after the quarantine ended, but would be made to take part in a 14-day quarantine in Whangaparāoa before being allowed free.