A US-Russian space crew blasted off to the International Space Station following a tight quarantine amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nasa astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner lifted off as scheduled from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft is set to dock at the station at the station six hours later.

Russian space officials have taken extra precautions to protect the crew during training and pre-flight preparations as the coronavirus outbreak has swept the world.

Speaking to journalists Wednesday in a video link from Baikonur, Mr Cassidy said the crew has been in “a very strict quarantine” for the past month and so in good health.

“We all feel fantastic,” he said.