COVID-19: Americans evacuated from Japanese cruise ship face 2nd quarantine

Americans Cheryl and Paul Molesky are trading one coronavirus quarantine for another.

The couple from Syracuse, New York, is cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be flown back to the United States. But they will have to spend another two-week quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don’t have the new virus that’s been sweeping across Asia.

About 380 Americans are on the cruise ship. The Japanese defense ministry said around 300 of them were preparing Sunday night to leave on buses to take them to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The U.S. State Department has arranged for charter flights to fly the Americans back to the United States. Canada, Hong Kong and Italy said they were planning similar flights of passengers.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said Washington was evacuating the Americans because the passengers and crew members on board the Diamond Princess were at a high risk of exposure to the virus.

The Americans will be flown to Travis Air Force Base in California, with some continuing to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. After arriving in the U.S., all of the passengers will need to go through another 14 days of quarantine — meaning they will have been under quarantine for a total of nearly four weeks.

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