In this photo provided by Michele Smith, a cruise ship worker cleans a railing on the Grand Princess Thursday, March 5, 2020, off the California coast. (Michele Smith via AP)

Feds secure plane to bring Canadians home from coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess

There are 237 Canadians on board the cruise ship

The federal government has secured a plane to bring the 237 Canadians on board the Grand Princess cruise ship home, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Sunday.

The cruise ship is currently sitting off the coast of San Francisco but has received permission to dock in Oakland, Calif.

Champagne said the decision to help repatriate the Canadians was made after the U.S. requested help.

As of Sunday, two passengers and 19 passengers on board the 3,500 person ship have tested positive for COVID-19.

Champagne said the passengers would be taken from San Francisco to Canadian Forces Base Trenton for a 14-day quarantine.

“The extent and frequency of interaction amongst cruise ship passengers and the close quarters found on most cruise ships presents a unique environment where COVID-19 can easily spread,” Champagne said.

He said passengers would be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before boarding the plane and those who have symptoms will be “further assessed to determine next steps.”

Ottawa had previously brought home Canadians stuck on board the Princess Diamond off the coast of Japan.

There are 60 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, most of those in Ontario with 29 cases and in B.C. with 27.

READ MORE: COVID-19 stricken Grand Princess with 237 Canadians on board cleared to dock in California

READ MORE: 6 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., including ‘outbreak’ at care home

VIDEO: Langley man finally freed from quarantine on Prince Diamond looking forward to ‘nice, cold beer’

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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