Australians stranded on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan will be evacuated home on Wednesday, where they will be quarantined for a further 14 days.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said more than 200 Australians currently on board the Diamond Princess would have to face a further 14 days of quarantine at a workers’ village outside Darwin.
“I thank the Japanese government for the care and assistance they have provided to those Australians who have been onboard the vessel,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
He added that New Zealand citizens will also be offered a seat on the chartered flight with Qantas.
Australia’s chief health officer Brendan Murphy explained that the additional 14 days quarantine was necessary as there have been “ongoing infections” on the ship.
“Given there has been recent cases, we cannot be absolutely sure that any of the currently well people on the ship who are coming home on Wednesday are not carrying the virus,” he told reporters. “And if we cannot be sure we have to take precautions.
“That is why we are going to take them to the Howard Springs facility in Darwin,” he said.