Tri-Cities couple, other Americans being expected to evacuated from quarantined cruise ship on chartered flight


(WJHL) – Americans, including a Tri-Cities couple, quarantined aboard the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship off the coast of Japan are now being flown back to the United States on a chartered flight.

Dr. Arnold Hopland and his wife, Jeanie, told News Channel 11 early Sunday morning they would be leaving the ship around 7 a.m. (ET) and coming back to the country for another two-week quarantine.

Once that quarantine is up, they’ll be able to return home. All Americans are having to be tested being coming back to the United States.

“The Department of State, working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and other partner agencies, will provide a chartered aircraft to bring passengers directly from Japan to the United States,” said a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

Here is a letter sent to the passengers and crew aboard the ship regarding the evacuations:

Courtesy of U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan

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In a follow-up email sent to passengers and crew members on board the cruise ship, the US Department of State outlines that Americans who wish to take advantage of the chartered flight must send confirmation by no later than 10 a.m. Tokyo time on February 16.

Here is a copy of the email sent to the ship:

Courtesy of U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan

Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the evacuation of U.S. citizens from the Princess Diamond cruise ship was announced Friday night:

“I am relieved to hear that American citizens quarantined on the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan will be evacuated to the United States for medical evaluation and any necessary care. I applaud the administration for this decision, which I know was not easy given the rapidly-changing situation. All of the government officials at HHS, CDC, State, and DHS, as well as the cruise line staff and officials and the Government of Japan, working to ensure the health and safety of our friends and families have my sincere appreciation for their efforts.”

Rep. Phil Roe

Congressman Roe wrote a letter with his colleagues to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State (State), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday to encourage the evacuation of American citizens off the Diamond Princess to a U.S.-based facility.

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