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Canada walks back expected departure date for evacuees of Japanese cruise ship

Canadians quarantined on cruise ship in Japan to come home
WATCH: Canadians quarantined on cruise ship in Japan to come home

Global Affairs says the departure date for a plane that will carry Canadians home from a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship in Japan is yet to be confirmed.

Spokeswoman Barbara Harvey says the departure will be settled once final arrangements are made with the Japanese government and the cruise ship company.

READ MORE: Why quarantining passengers on a cruise ship was a bad idea

A news release from the company operating the Diamond Princess cruise ship says the Canadian flight has been “shifted” to early Friday morning.

What you need to know about COVID-19 prevention
What you need to know about COVID-19 prevention

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.

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

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Passengers aboard the quarantined cruise ship were told earlier that a flight set to bring them home was “expected” to fly out of a Tokyo airport on Thursday.

Coronavirus outbreak: Japan cruise ship VP releases message to passengers
Coronavirus outbreak: Japan cruise ship VP releases message to passengers