Japan takes hard stance, bans entry from 73 countries
Tokyo - Japan said on Tuesday that it would ban people from more than a third of the world, including the US, 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, reports Efe news.
Japan raised its travel alert to Level 3 (out of a possible 4), over which it advised against travelling to certain territories under any circumstances.
The alert was extended on Tuesday to 49 countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea, China, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, the UK 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 travelled 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 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.