On Monday, the U.S. State Department said Americans should avoid traveling to Japan in light of the fact that the country is under a state of emergency.
Japan is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in connection with its low vaccination rate. Just 3% of the country’s population has been vaccinated, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.
The State Department said Japan now falls under its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” category. In its advisory, the department cited "a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.” The advisory applies even to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a notice.
May affect the Olympics
The CDC advises people who must travel to Japan for essential reasons to get vaccinated if they’re not already and to protect themselves as much as possible while in the country. Recommendations include wearing face coverings, social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding contact with sick people.
The recommendation to avoid traveling to Japan comes just two months before the planned start of the Tokyo Olympics.
The Olympics didn’t take place as scheduled last year due to the pandemic. Now, Japan is trying to convince its residents, as well as participants and spectators from other countries, that it is ready to host the competition starting July 23. Organizers will decide next month whether to allow spectators to watch the event in person.