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TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Hundreds of Americans are back on U.S. soil this morning after being evacuated from a cruise ship that’s been quarantined for days off the coast of Japan due to the coronavirus. 

The first chartered flight touched down at Travis Air Force Base in California, followed by a second landing overnight at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. 

Passengers from the Diamond Princess ship were screened before being allowed to board the converted 747s. During that process, it was learned that 14 people were infected with the coronavirus. 

The passengers had been tested two to three days before the evacuation flights, the statement said.

“After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process,” the agencies said.

They were still allowed to return but had to be segregated away from other passengers during the flight home. All of the evacuees will now spend another 14 days in quarantine. 

CNN contributed to this article


(PHOTO: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)