Chartered flight to take home Hong Kong residents on quarantined ship in Japan


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HONG KONG, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government is arranging chartered flight to take the Hong Kong residents under quarantine on board a cruise ship in Japan back to Hong Kong free of charge soonest possible after they are permitted to disembark and land, the HKSAR government's Security Bureau said on late Saturday.

Once the Japanese authorities have confirmed the detailed arrangements, the HKSAR government will inform the affected Hong Kong residents details of the return date and related arrangements as soon as possible, said a spokesman for the Security Bureau.

Taking into consideration the potential risk on public health, the persons concerned will be arranged to stay at quarantine center for 14 days upon their arrival in Hong Kong.

The HKSAR government's Immigration Department (ImmD) officers are concurrently notifying all of the concerned Hong Kong residents the above arrangements by text messages.

The ImmD and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo have been maintaining close contact with the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR, the Chinese Embassy in Japan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, to keep abreast of the updated conditions of those Hong Kong residents under quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docking in Yokohama, Japan. The HKSAR government will continue to urge the Japanese side to confirm the detailed arrangements for the disembarkation of the passengers on board as soon as possible, said the spokesman.

The cruise ship has been kept in quarantine after the sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

According to the information provided by the cruise operator, there are around 330 Hong Kong residents on board.