Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is seen here through a fence at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal, in Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 11, 2020.

Issei Kato/Reuters

When a government-chartered plane can carry Canadians home from a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship in Japan is yet to be confirmed, says Global Affairs.

Thousands of passengers who’d been taking a cruise on the Diamond Princess have been stuck aboard the ship docked in Yokohama, near Tokyo, while the illness dubbed COVID-19 has sickened hundreds.

Global Affairs spokeswoman Barbara Harvey said in an e-mail late Tuesday “the departure date will be confirmed once final arrangements will be confirmed with the Japanese government and the cruise ship company.”

Story continues below advertisement

An e-mail Global Affairs sent passengers, shared with The Canadian Press, said the Canadian government “expect(s) the passengers to be transferred from the ship to the airport on Thursday the 20th, pending the necessary approvals from the Japanese authorities. We do not presently have the time for the transfer available to us.”

Passengers aboard the quarantined cruise ship were told earlier that a flight set to bring them home was “expected” to depart Tokyo Haneda Airport on Thursday.

A news release from the cruise line on Tuesday said chartered flights for passengers from Australia and Hong Kong would arrive within the next 24 hours.

“We have just been advised that the Canada flight has been shifted to early Friday morning,” it said, noting the company had received the update at 9:30 a.m. local Japan time.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Tuesday that Canadian officials were waiting on final authorization from those in Japan before the plane ferrying people home is able to take off.

He said the plane was en route to Japan after some unforeseen technical issues prior to takeoff Tuesday.

But those passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 will remain in Japanese health facilities, Champagne said.

Story continues below advertisement

Forty-three of about 250 Canadian passengers had been struck by the bug at last count, according to Canadian authorities.

Those who want to come home and have been cleared to fly will be checked out again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in Ontario, before being moved on to quarantine at a hotel and conference centre in Cornwall, a few hundred kilometres east.

COVID-19 is thought to have an incubation period of about two weeks, and the evacuees will wait out that period in quarantine to make sure they don’t get sick and spread the illness in Canada.

The much-criticized quarantine of the cruise ship ends later Wednesday. The Diamond Princess’ 542 virus cases are the most in any place outside of China, and medical experts have called its quarantine a failure.

One healthy Canadian passenger said she’s eager to go home, but the departure date being moved is “discouraging.”

“We’d like to hear what the explanation might be instead of being left in the dark once again,” said Trudy Clement of Callander, Ont.

Story continues below advertisement

Lolita Wisener of Red Deer, Alta., who is also looking forward to coming home, said she was “not happy.”

“The smiles are getting a little bit more brittle now, you know,” she said via Skype.

The “hope” they had when it was announced last Saturday that the government would take Canadians from the Diamond Princess is now fading, she said.

“It’s a good thing we’re not drowning, eh?” Wisener said.

“I’m starting to feel bad for me.”

With files from Jordan Press, Laura Osman and The Associated Press

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies