Four associations in Japan involved in mountain activities have released a joint statement asking people to refrain from climbing until the threat of COVID-19 subsides.

They issued the appeal to climbers in a statement dated April 20, ahead of the Golden Week holidays that begin this year on April 29.

The statement said that continuing mountain sports activities carries the risk of catching or spreading the virus, and that it is not ideal to leave the city to enjoy the fresher air of rural areas at a time when the nation is being urged to self-isolate.

“We can’t have people getting involved in accidents in the mountains when the health service is in danger of collapsing because of the coronavirus,” said Takashi Kawashima, a top official of the Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation.

The other three bodies are the Japan Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Association, the Japanese Alpine Club and the Japan Mountain Guides Association.

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