The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to Japan due to the coronavirus situation in the country as the previously postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to take place in just two months.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Japan due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country,” the advisory issued Monday states.
The “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory is the highest cautionary level the department can issue.
Japan has recently experienced a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases and has lagged in its roll out of vaccines compared to other countries.
Japan has reported nearly 35,000 new COVID-19 cases and 794 new deaths over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The country has confirmed more than 719,000 cases and 12,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic.
While the country is still operating under a state of emergency, it is preparing to welcome thousands of athletes from 200 nations as the Tokyo Olympics are set to get underway July 23.
It’s not clear how the advisory will affect Team USA’s participation in the games.
The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, a group of about 6,000 primary care doctors, posted an open letter last week calling for the cancellation of the games due to the recent spike, arguing the host city’s hospitals are being overwhelmed.
“Japan will bear the maximum responsibility,” the group wrote.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Olympic officials have maintained, however, that Tokyo can safely hold the games with appropriate measures in place.
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year due to the pandemic.
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