State Department Evacuating US Citizens From Diamond Princess Ship Docked In Japan

Evacuation flights from Japan have scheduled departures for February 16 2020
cruise ship in the ocean

An urgent message from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan was sent to U.S. Citizens onboard the Diamond Princess ship.

‘To ensure a smooth return to the USA, the Department of State, working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other partner agencies, will provide a chartered aircraft to bring US citizens directly from Japan to the USA.’

This email message was distributed on February 15, 2020, clarifying evacuation questions from passengers and crew on this cruise ship.

Specifically, the Embassy requested to know ‘if you want to take the charter flights, we must receive your confirmation no later than 10:00 AM February 16, 2020.’

Furthermore, ‘should you choose not to return to the USA on this charter flight, you will be unable to return to the USA for a period of time.’ 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make a final determination on this matter. 

The US State Department provided the following evacuation updates:

  • First, the baggage limit on board the charter flights is a total of 70 pounds per person, plus one small carry-on that can fit under the seat in front of you. 
  • And these evacuation aircraft do not have overhead bins. 
  • Second, if you or any of your family members taking the charter flight have special needs, for example, mobility or supplemental oxygen, please indicate this in your reply email. 
  • Likewise, if you have a service animal, please let us know immediately.
  • These aircraft will land in the United States at Travis Air Force Base in California. Some passengers will then continue onward to Lackland Air Force Base located near San Antonio, Texas. 
  • Please note, that based upon previous Travel Advisories, travelers returning to the USA from high-risk areas are required to undergo quarantine. 
  • Accordingly, you will need to undergo further quarantine of 14 days when you arrive in the USA.

And, the CDC reaffirmed there are no preventive vaccines or therapeutic medications approved for the SARS-CoV-2, as of February 15, 2020.

The CDC does suggest the general public take everyday preventive actions needed to keep safe, such as washing hands, covering a cough, and staying home when sick.

Finally, please be aware we will be sending additional information in the coming hours that will expand upon several issues addressed by our message this afternoon regarding the planned repatriation operation.

U.S. citizens aboard the Diamond Princess, hospitalized at local hospitals, as well as their friends and family, can continue to reach the State Department at [email protected] or call (+81) 03-3224-5000.

‘We greatly appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we prepare to move forward on this effort,’ concluded this State Department message.

Travel news published by Vax-Before-Travel.


Article by
Dani Reiter