Diamond Princess Repatriation
For Immediate Release: Saturday, February 15, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is supporting the Department of State-led mission to repatriate U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States from Japan, currently aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. HHS is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans. To fulfill our responsibilities to U.S. citizens, as well as to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system, the U.S. government recommends that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring. These measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease.
There are approximately 400 U.S. citizens onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Due to the dynamic nature of the outbreak, the U.S. government recommends that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States. Americans returned by flights chartered by the State Department will be subject to a 14-day, federal quarantine and be housed at two existing federal quarantine sites for repatriated travelers:
- Travis Air Force Base in California
- Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas
Those passengers returning from Japan will be housed separately from individuals already in quarantine from previous Wuhan repatriation flights. All travelers from Japan will be screened before boarding the State Department-chartered aircraft to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan. These planes will be met by a team of U.S. Government personnel deployed there to assess the health of the passengers. The passengers will be screened before leaving the ship and monitored and evaluated by medical and public health personnel every step of the way, including before takeoff, during the flight, and after arrival. U.S. Government staff will conduct risk assessments to ensure the health of each traveler, including temperature checks and observation for respiratory symptoms.
Travelers will be monitored during the flight to Travis Air Force Base where all travelers will be screened again. Any passengers taken onward to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will be monitored during that flight as well and screened upon arrival in Texas.
This is an evolving situation and every day we learn more about this virus. We continue to believe the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus 2019 to the general public is currently low. The U.S. Government is taking these measures to fully assess and care for these repatriated Americans to protect them, their loved ones, and their communities. We are deeply grateful to the government of Japan for their extraordinary care and hospitality and their assistance facilitating the care and return of our citizens.
For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.