(Washington) The United States on Monday recommended not to travel to Japan, the host country for the Olympic Games, this summer due to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Do not travel to Japan because of COVID-19,” the U.S. State Department wrote, raising its travel advice to the maximum level of caution.
Over the course of several weeks, the department coordinates its travel alerts with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to better consider the risks associated with coronavirus. As a result, most countries are now classified as 4th level, “do not go there”.
In the case of Japan, two months before the July 23 to August 8 Olympics in Tokyo, the warning is of particular importance. As the organization of the World Games continues to be a topic of discussion in the archipelago, part of it is under emergency in the wake of the fourth wave of COVID-19.
The State Department did not immediately say whether the decision would affect the preparation of the games and the participation of American delegates.
Washington introduces the presence of COVID-19 “at a very high level in Japan”, as well as sanctions “affecting the entry of U.S. nationals.”
The website of the United States Embassy in Japan states that the chances of an American entering Japan are currently “very limited”.
“Travel is not allowed for tourism or other short-term reasons and there are no indications that this will ever change. Visa-free travel has been suspended,” the embassy wrote.
She added that “the Japanese government does not discriminate between vaccinated and unwanted travelers in admission requirements for COVID-19” and “quarantine applies regardless of vaccine status”.
Relatively escaped from the pandemic compared to other countries, officially 12,000 deaths have been reported since the beginning of 2020, but Japan is facing an increase in COVID-19 cases, putting pressure on its medical system.
The population is strongly opposed to hosting sports, but organizers are repeating that very strict antivirus measures and a ban on spectators coming from abroad will allow them to operate with “complete security”.