A few months before the start of the Summer Olympics, the caveat is important. The United States recommended Monday to its nationals not to travel to Japan, the host country of the competition, because of the risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. “Due to Covid-19, do not travel to Japan,” writes the US State Department, which has raised its travel warning to the maximum level of warning.
For several weeks, the department has been updating its travel warnings to harmonize them with those of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), in order to better take into account the risks associated with the coronavirus. As a result, more countries are now classified as level 4, “do not go there”.
An important caveat
But with regard to Japan, two months away from the Olympics supposed to be held in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8, this warning is of particular importance. Especially since the holding of the world sports competition continues to be debated in the archipelago, part of which is under a state of emergency in the face of a fourth wave of Covid-19.
The State Department does not immediately say whether this decision could affect the preparation of the Games and the participation of the American delegations. Washington invokes the presence of Covid-19 “at a very high level in Japan”, as well as the restrictions which “affect the entry of American nationals” into the country.
The website of the United States Embassy in Japan specifies for its part that the possibilities of entering Japan for an American are currently “very limited”. “Traveling for tourism or for most other short-term reasons is not allowed, and there is no indication that this will change anytime soon. Visa-free travel is suspended, ”writes the embassy.
A recent upsurge in cases
“The government of Japan makes no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers in its entry requirements related to Covid,” and “quarantine applies regardless of vaccination status,” she adds.
Relatively spared from the pandemic compared to other countries, with some 12,000 officially recorded deaths since early 2020, Japan is however experiencing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases putting its medical system under pressure.
The population is strongly opposed to the holding of the Games, but the organizers keep repeating that very strict antivirus measures and the ban on spectators coming from abroad will allow them to be organized “in complete safety”.