US advises against traveling to Japan ahead of Olympics

The State Department on Monday issued an advisory warning Americans not to travel to Japan, citing a “high level” of COVID-19 in the country.

The U.S. instructed Americans to avoid nonessential travel just two months before the Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in Tokyo after a year’s delay due to the pandemic.

“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 read. “There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Japan.” 

The advisory did not specify whether the guidance differs for vaccinated Americans.

A different Olympics: The Olympic Games are set to begin in Tokyo on July 23. Foreign spectators have already been banned from attending, but thousands of athletes and support staff are expected to attend.

Japan is facing growing calls to cancel the Olympics, including from about 6,000 doctors, as the country documented its record high week of new COVID-19 deaths last week at 794 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“We will do whatever it takes to accomplish the project so that the people can get vaccinated and return to their ordinary daily lives as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday, according to The Associated Press.