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Canadians who work on two cruise ships are being allowed off in U.S. ports

The Coral Princess cruise ship arrives at PortMiami during the new coronavirus outbreak, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Canadians working aboard two cruise ships who have been prevented from coming ashore due to COVID-19 concerns are finally being allowed to return home.

Princess Cruises says in an emailed statement that 19 Canadians on the Koningsdam disembarked in Los Angeles on Friday, and that they would be flown or driven home by the company.

The cruise line says another 53 Canadians are scheduled to leave the Emerald Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday and would head to Miami where they would board a chartered flight to Toronto.

Approximately 99 U.S. crew are also being allowed to leave both vessels, the statement says.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that about 80,000 crew members remained on board ships off the U.S. coast after most passengers had disembarked.

Earlier this week in Nassau, Bahamas, crew members from Canada aboard the Emerald Princess were told to prepare to be flown home in a charter plane, but the Bahamian government did not allow the ship to dock in the end.

With files from AP