Japan will require all travelers arriving from the United States to undergo a 14-day quarantine as a measure to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday.
The measure, which also affects Japanese nationals, will apply from Thursday, March 26, and is in line with previously imposed restrictions on travelers who have been to China, South Korea or most of Europe.
During the two weeks of isolation, which newcomers will have to spend at their residence or hotel, they will also be asked to avoid using public transport.
In addition to requiring quarantine, Japan has prohibited the entry to the archipelago of non-Japanese travelers who arrive or have been in the previous two weeks in certain areas of China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland and Iceland.
Today’s announcement came after the Japanese government raised the alert level in the North American country for the virus and discouraged its citizens from making non-essential trips to the United States, where more than 30,000 cases and hundreds of deaths.
The US State Department has also recommended that Americans avoid international travel, after raising the level of global health alert for the ongoing global spread of the pathogen, which has so far left more than 300,000 infected and more than 13,000 confirmed deaths.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also raised its alert for COVID-19 (the respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus) in Japan, where cases continue to rise. .
Japanese authorities have so far reported 1,801 coronavirus infections, including 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, as well as 49 deaths (including eight passengers from the ship).
Although the official count is low compared to other countries, the number of infections is constantly increasing and there has been an increase in cases in densely populated urban areas.
With more than 100 cases diagnosed in Tokyo, the governor of the Japanese capital, Yuriko Koike, has said that the metropolis is “in a critical phase” and has called for the suspension or postponement of large-scale events until at least April 12. .
“We are trying to avoid an explosive increase in cases that would trigger a blockade. The request may cause inconvenience, but we would like to ask for cooperation,” Koike said at a news conference gathered by local news agency Kyodo.