TAMPA, Fla. — Americans aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan will be heading back to the United States on Sunday.
- Some 285 people have tested positive for Coronavirus
- 380 Americans onboard, including Citrus County Florida couple
- Passengers will be taken to American quarantine sites
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The U.S. Embassy sent a letter detailing the plan to bring hundreds of Americans aboard the quarantined ship to California. This comes as 67 new cases of novel coronavirus were reported Saturday on the ship, bringing the total number of cases on board to 285.
The plane will arrive in Japan on Sunday evening. The passengers will be screened for symptoms before boarding the plane. Anyone with symptoms who can’t get on the plane will stay in Japan for treatment.
The plane will land at Travis Air Force Base in California. Some passengers will then be taken to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. According to the letter, the passengers will have to complete 14 days of quarantine once they return to the U.S.
Phil and Gay Courter, a couple from Citrus County that’s aboard the ship, released an update on Saturday.
“We are relieved and honored that the American government is mobilizing its considerable power and resources to repatriate American citizens aboard the Diamond Princess. So far we have remained healthy, and although yesterday we were tested, we do not expect to know the results for a few days. Regardless of the result, we believe we will be in the safest medical hands in US facilities with US doctors, and everybody will be working to get us home as soon as possible. We’d like to thank the White House, the State Department, and the CDC for working with Diamond Princess and the local authorities to make this transfer possible,” said Gay Courter.
The Courters are in their 11th day of quarantine on the ship. The Diamond Princess departed on January 20 but returned on February 4 and has been docked ever since.
The remaining passengers on the ship will begin disembarkation on February 21, according to the President of the Princess Cruises.