Tokyo, Mar 31 (efe-epa).- Japan said Tuesday it would ban people from more than a third of the world, including the United States, from entering the country to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The US is among a list of 73 countries to which the Japanese government also discouraged travel amid the steep global increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities. Japan raised its travel alert to Level 3 (out of a possible 4), over which it advised against traveling to certain territories under any circumstances.
The alert was extended Tuesday to 49 countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea, China, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, the United Kingdom and Greece, from which Japan will prohibit the entry to travelers who aren’t Japanese, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference.
Motegi did not specify when the entry veto would take effect.
In this way, Japan will increase to 73 the countries to which it urges not to travel – more than a third of the world – among which are Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Australia and Iran. Citizens who have traveled to these countries in the last 14 days are all subject to entry restrictions.
Travel alerts to the rest of the world was maintained at alert Level 2 (which discourages non-essential or unurgent trips).
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it would follow the evolution of the spread of COVID-19 – which has already caused more than 780,000 infections and more than 37,000 deaths worldwide – and said it does not rule out implementing more border restrictions.
The Japanese government has so far reported 2,665 new coronavirus infections and 67 deaths in the country, including 712 cases and 11 deaths linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Japan has experienced an increase in cases detected both in the country and its airports, with more than 10 daily infections identified at the country’s airports for more than a week.
On Monday, 51 of the total 87 cases Japan detected were at airports. EFE-EPA