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Coronavirus quarantined Man Breaks Quarantine sneaks flight to United States

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Coronavirus quarantined Man Breaks Quarantine sneaks flight to United States

 

 

 

SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. (KOMO) — An Oregon comedian who had been stranded on a Holland America cruise ship in Cambodia due to COVID-19 virus concerns managed to get a flight back home by breaking quarantine in a hotel where ship’s passengers were being held pending test results.

Frank King arrived at Sea-Tac Airport Monday afternoon on his way home to Eugene. He was a performer on the M/S Westerdam when their two-week cruise turned into quite the saga after a former passenger tested positive for the virus.

The ship left Hong Kong on Feb. 1 and was supposed to visit Shanghai but couldn’t because coronavirus gripped China. The ship was then denied entry in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam and Thailand before finally being allowed to dock in Cambodia.

An 83-year-old woman who disembarked the ship tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia, bringing the whole disembarking process to a halt. Some passengers had been put up in a five-star hotel in Phnom Penh awaiting travel home when the news of the positive test hit, meaning those on board and those at the hotel would have to all be tested and await results before being allowed to leave.

But King, who says he had an important speaking engagement back in the U.S. decided he couldn’t wait.

Frank King speaks to KOMO News at Sea-Tac Airport

“There was no official ‘you can’t leave’ (at the hotel) but if you tried to go out the front door with your luggage, security would stop you,” King said. “But if you went out with your backpack and you were sightseeing, not a problem.”

He said they were all tested for the virus on Sunday.

“How long is it going to take to get all those results back? Because I’ve got an engagement on the 20th of February,” he told KOMO News, adding he speaks on suicide prevention and wouldn’t get paid if he didn’t make it.

“So I thought, you know, I’m outta here,” he said.

King said he first walked around the entire hotel scoping out security and noted lesser security was along the back gate.

“So out I go the back gate with my luggage,” he said.

Oregon comedian quarantined amid cruise ship virus sneaks flight to Seattle

King says he was stopped by someone and repeatedly told he was not to leave, but he refused to comply unless he was going to be arrested and instead got into a waiting three-wheeled tuk-tuk, even carrying his luggage on his shoulders, to get to the airport.

He says he chose to fly back on his own on a more full-service airline, even purchasing a full-price, upgraded ticket as not to raise suspicion that he was trying to quickly leave the country at the last minute as cheaply as possible.

King said he sailed through the airports on his three connecting flights, only being asked if he had been to China, and had a rental car reserved in Seattle to get home to Eugene if he couldn’t fly from here.

King said somebody asked him if it was “kind of selfish to self deport?” He said while the results of his virus test weren’t back, he’s confident he’s OK since he has not shown any symptoms, nor fever, and says he had been essentially in quarantine for 14 days.

Officials with Holland America said guests at the hotel completed their screening, saying in part in a statement, “Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative. Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests.”

The cruise line said it expects it will be several days before the remaining passengers are allowed to leave the boat.

“It was frustrating,” King said. “It was disappointing, especially for the passengers because you know, some of these are bucket list destinations. But Holland refunded the money. You can put it on another cruise. They did everything to ‘make ’em whole’ — as they say.”

 

https://komonews.com/news/local/man-stranded-on-coronavirus-infected-cruise-ship-arrives-at-sea-tac-airport

 

 

 


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