US warns against all travel to Japan as Olympics loom
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials and the State Department on Monday warned Americans against travel to Japan because of a surge in coronavirus cases in the country, which is preparing to host the Olympics in just two months.
The twin alerts don’t ban U.S. citizens from visiting the country, but they could have an impact on insurance rates for travelers and may factor into decisions by Olympic athletes and spectators on whether to compete in or attend the games, which are due to start in July. There was no immediate indication as to what effect the warnings might have on would-be Olympic-goers.
“Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan,” the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new COVID-19 update. “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 State Department’s warning, which followed the CDC alert, was more blunt. “Do not travel to Japan due to COVID-19,” it said in the announcement, which raised the department’s travel alert from Level 3 — Reconsider travel — to Level 4 — Do not travel. The previous alert was issued on April 21.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said it still anticipates that American athletes will be able to safely compete at the Tokyo Games.
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