ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A couple from Crystal River remains stuck in quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan because of the coronavirus.

But relief might be in sight.

The U.S. says Americans aboard the quarantined ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday, but that they will face another two-week quarantine.

Gay and Phil Courter have requested to be on one of those flights. They'll only be allowed if they're healthy.

"If one of us is sick we will be removed to a Japanese hospital and quarantined and the other will have to stay behind," Gay said. "After a long and lovely marriage that is perhaps the most devastating news of all. 

"It really, really is terrifying."

So far, 285 of the nearly 4,000 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for Coronavirus. Sixty-seven new cases were found just one day before evacuations of healthy Americans are set to begin.

Once arriving in the U.S., the quarantined passengers will spend two weeks at Air Force bases in California or Texas.

Coronavirus quarantine countdown from bay area couple onboard
Gay and Phil Courter countdown the days until they're released from a Coronavirus quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
Phil Courter

RELATED: US flying home Americans stuck on quarantined ship in Japan amid coronavirus outbreak

RELATED: Coronavirus outbreak has Tampa Bay couple stuck on cruise ship

What other people are reading right now:


Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter