US Tells Remaining Cruise Passengers: Stay Out For 2 Weeks

The quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess is anchored at the Yokohama Port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. The cruise ship will begin letting passengers off the boat on Wednesday after it’s been in quarantined for 14 days. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. government made good on its warning to Americans who chose to remain on board a quarantined cruise ship in Japan, telling them they cannot return home for at least two weeks after they come ashore.

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U.S. officials notified the passengers Tuesday of the travel restriction, citing their possible exposure to the new virus while on board the Diamond Princess. More than 100 U.S. citizens are still on the ship or in Japanese hospitals.

A two-week quarantine of the Diamond Princess ends Wednesday. Over the weekend, more than 300 American passengers, including some who tested positive for coronavirus, left Japan on charter flights. Most of them remain under quarantine at military bases in California and Texas, although about a dozen have been moved to a hospital.

Some Americans decided to take their chances and stay on the ship. On Tuesday, they were told their names would be put on a travel restriction list. The letter from U.S. health authorities said the passengers would not be issued a boarding pass or allowed on a flight “until you are no longer at risk of spreading infection during travel.”

The letter also warned them against trying to enter the country through Mexico or Canada or at a seaport, saying “you will be stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.”

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3 years ago

I could imagine the US banning an American citizen from flying. I cannot see the legal basis for denying enter to a US citizen who presents himself at a point of entry. Entry into the US is sometimes given as an example of an absolute right.

3 years ago

You’re going off the rails again. Paul knows they can come back in 2 weeks. Paul also knows that all things equal an individuals right to entry doesn’t trump other “individuals right to live.” The question is still under what legal basis can a US citizen be kept back from entering the country of its an absolute right? Quarantine them if you have to under existing law, but what legal basis is there for denying entry? Paul isn’t claiming it isn’t the smart or right thing to do, he’s only wondering what the legal basis is for it.

Read comment carefully before you respond. Hyperbole is a sever spam gremlin agitator.