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Japan raises travel alert for 13 countries over virus pandemic

KYODO, STAFF REPORT

Japan on Tuesday raised its travel alert for 13 countries to its second-highest level, warning against any trips to these areas as new coronavirus infections continue to spread globally.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a news conference that foreign travelers who have been in the 13 nations — which include five South and Central American countries, including Mexico, Uruguay and Colombia — within two weeks of arriving in Japan will be denied entry following the upgraded advisory. The other nations are Maldive, Bahamas, Honduras, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea‐Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Equatorial Guinea.

The entry ban will be finalized soon after talks at the National Security Council and a government task force meeting on the virus outbreak.

With Tuesday's measure, the number countries and regions with a Level 3 advisory totals 100, according to Motegi.

The Level 3 advisory is one step below the Foreign Ministry's highest level of travel alert, which urges Japanese nationals to "evacuate immediately" from a country or area and "avoid all travel regardless of purpose."

"The regions where the infection is spreading are changing over time," Motegi said.

Japan has banned the entry of foreign travelers from 87 countries and regions including China, South Korea, the United States, Russia and most of Europe since March, and suspended visas issued to people from the rest of the world.

All other countries remain on the Level 2 advisory, in which Japanese citizens are asked to refrain from all nonessential overseas travel.

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