Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship 'expected' to arrive in Japan on Wednesday

Canadians stranded on a quarantined cruise ship were told that a flight is "expected" to arrive in Japan on Wednesday to bring them home amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

An email from Ottawa received by passengers aboard the Diamond Princess on Monday night local time says the departure date will be confirmed once final arrangements have been made with the Japanese government and the cruise ship company.

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It says passengers will be notified 24 hours before the flight leaves.

The email says it is taking time for the Government of Canada to organize this flight because the departure from Lisbon was delayed by several hours due to overflight clearance challenges.

As many as 255 Canadians are on the Diamond Princess, where some 3,500 passengers have been stuck for 10 days .

The largest number of cases outside China is among passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at a port near Tokyo.

— With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2020.

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