Roughly one third of the planet expected to be unable to travel to Japan as part of expanded coronavirus countermeasures.

Last week, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the unprecedented measure of asking citizens to refrain from any and all non-essential international travel, regardless of which foreign country they might be thinking of going to. Now, just days later, the ministry has reportedly decided that the policy isn’t strict enough to ensure people’s safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s NHK national news organization reports that the government will be moving to prohibit entry to Japan for travelers coming from anywhere in the United States, China, Korea, almost all of Europe, and certain parts of Southeast Asia. The travel ban works both ways and will also prohibit travel from Japan to those countries.

In addition, an emergency meeting to be held by Japan’s National Security Council government agency coordination organization this week will be introducing a proposal to deny entry to Japan for foreign travelers who have spent any time within the banned countries within the past two weeks, even those not entering Japan directly from the banned territories.

The new travel restrictions come as part of raising the affected countries’ danger level, as per the ministry’s travel danger advisory system, from Level 2 to Level 3. Parts of China and Korea, and all of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Iran were already at Level 3, but once the new round of restrictions goes into effect people in roughly one third of the countries in the world will be unable to travel to Japan. With new cases of coronavirus infection being found at an increasing rate in Japan, however, voluntary countermeasures aren’t proving as effective as many had hoped, and macro-level social distancing might be the only way to get the situation under control.

Source: NHK News Web, Asahi Shimbun Digital via Yahoo! Japan News
Top image: Pakutaso
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