Japanese government recommends spending two weeks in Hawaii on your way to Micronesia in order to comply with new rule.

The coronavirus outbreak has largely been framed as a Chinese health issue, due to the epidemic first being observed in China’s Wuhan and the nation also being where the vast majority of infections have been confirmed. However, coronavirus infections have also been identified in 26 countries outside of mainland China as well, with some statistics placing Japan at the top of that list.

Granted, the number of coronavirus infections in Japan, which separate reports have placed between 20 and 33, is nowhere near the 24,000-plus for mainland China, and thankfully no deaths have occurred from the disease within Japan. Nevertheless, the situation has prompted the Federated States of Micronesia to officially declare Japan an infected territory, and the Asian island nation has enacted new restrictions on travelers from Japan.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Micronesian government has enacted a “14-day rule” for travel from Japan. Under the new regulation, travelers from Japan are prohibited from entering Micronesia unless they first spend at least 14 days in a non-infected country/territory. Even after fulfilling that condition, travelers from Japan must undergo a health examination interview upon arrival in Micronesia before leaving the airport’s immigration area.

It’s worth pointing out that enforcement is based not on nationality, and thus non-Japanese tourists who have spent time in Japan are also subject to the 14-day rule. The regulation has had an immediate effect, with 17 passengers (of undetermined nationality) being denied boarding for a February 3 United Airlines flight from Guam to Micronesia.

There are no direct flights from Japan’s major airports to Micronesia, and so in its travel alert Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests Guam, where most Micronesia-bound passengers have to transfer planes, as a potential place to spend the two-week waiting period. Honolulu is another suggestion the ministry makes, though that circuitous route still requires transferring in Guam on your way to Micronesia, but we suppose if you have to cram an extra two weeks into the middle of your itinerary, there are worse ways to fill that time up than relaxing on the sands at Waikiki, provided you can afford it.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan via Jin, NHK, BNO News
Top image: Pakutaso
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