Hans and Lolita Wiesner, of Lacombe County, who were stranded aboard a virus-infected cruise ship near Tokyo for about two weeks, are back in Canada. Photo via Facebook

Red Deer area residents who were quarantined on cruise ship near Japan back in Canada

Central Alberta residents are safe and test negative for coronavirus

Two central Albertans who were quarantined on a cruise ship for about two weeks near Tokyo, got that warm fuzzy feeling when they landed in Canada.

Lacombe County resident Lolita Weisner said although the couple is still quarantined, they’re glad to be back in their home country after a 26-hour journey.

“We were very happy to see our flag when we landed. And got warm fuzzies from the Red Cross folks at CFB Trenton, who gave us a box lunch for the bus ride from there to Cornwall and who were generally just wonderful to all of us,” Weisner said.

The couple were among the 151 Canadians confined to their cabins on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked in Yokohama, Japan, since earlier in February.

Canada chose to requarantine the passengers after they’d already gone through two weeks of isolation aboard the vessel, because new cases were still cropping up on the ship.

Weisner said she and her husband Hans understand the need for such measures. They are looking forward to an “all-clear at the end of this.”

The couple feels lucky to be back in Canada, even if it’s not in their home in Alberta.

“Should we get sick, we would feel very lucky to go to a Canadian hospital. But we are still healthy, thank goodness, and just had our morning checkup and all is well,” Wiesner said.

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Red Deer area residents quarantined on cruise ship due to coronavirus

The ship carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew was first quarantined in Yokohama on Feb. 4, following a confirmed outbreak of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The Joffre-area wife said the couple expects to be in quarantine until March 6, since they got back to Canada Friday.

The couple had other travel plans on their itinerary, including heading to Lisbon and Morocco, but that’s been cancelled. However, the couple is hoping to fly to Portugal, once cleared from the quarantine, which was also part of the travel plan.

“It just shows you cannot plan for everything, because who knew we’d get caught up in a pandemic? We lost the flight cost from Yokohama to Lisbon, and probably the flight costs from Lisbon to Morocco and back to Lisbon.

“Maybe Princess will refund that, or a portion. Don’t know,” the Red Deer area resident said.

With files from The Canadian Press



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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