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Remaining Diamond Princess passengers placed under travel restrictions, CDC says

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 17:41:01-05

YOKOHAMA, Japan. – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Tuesday that travel restrictions have been placed on all remaining passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan because of a COVID-19 outbreak on board.

Under the restrictions, the more than 100 United States citizens still on board the ship or in Japanese hospitals will be prevented from returning to the U.S. for at least 14 days after leaving the Diamond Princess. The restrictions apply to the ship’s other passengers and crew as well.

“After disembarkation from the Diamond Princess, these passengers and crew will be required to wait 14 days without having symptoms or a positive coronavirus test result before they are permitted to board flights to the United States,” said the CDC in a press release.

If an individual from the cruise arrives in the U.S. before the 14-day period ends, the CDC says they will still be subject to a mandatory quarantine until they have completed the 14-day period with no symptoms or positive coronavirus test results.

The CDC says there may be additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the remaining passengers on board the Diamond Princess, because of their high-risk exposure.

The CDC says these travel restrictions have been put in place to protect the health of the American people.

“We continue to believe that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to the general public in the United States is currently low,” wrote the CDC. “The U.S. Government is taking these measures to protect the Diamond Princess passengers and crew, their loved ones, the traveling public, and communities within the United States.”

Sunday night, two charter flights carrying Diamond Princess passengers landed at military bases in California and Texas, starting the clock on another 14-day quarantine period to ensure passengers don’t have the new virus. A total of 14 of those passengers were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.