Japan mulls lowering int’l travel advisories issued over pandemic

Oct 16 , 2020. 15 hours ago – 18:12 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Japan is considering lowering travel advisories that it issued for all countries and regions in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, government officials said Thursday.

In late March, the Foreign Ministry’s travel advisories were raised to Level 2 on its scale of four, requesting citizens to avoid nonessential trips as tightened border controls and the imposition of lockdowns raised the risk of becoming stranded.

The ministry is thinking of lowering travel advisories that it issues due to political instability or other reasons while maintaining its more specific alerts for infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. Neither is legally binding.

“Recently, more international flights are resuming operations. Border controls have also been relaxed,” a senior official at the ministry said.

The ministry may lower the travel advisory to Level 1, asking citizens to exercise caution or lift it completely.

As for more specific travel alerts for infectious diseases, 159 countries and regions are now placed at Level 3, warning against all travel.

The ministry is expected to lower the alert by one level for Vietnam and some other countries that have a low number of infections, according to the officials.

CR:KYODO NEWS