TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan has strengthened measures aimed at curbing the import of COVID-19, asking all entrants from the United States to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.
"We ask everyone, including Japanese citizens, returning from any state of the United States, to undergo a 14-day quarantine and refrain from using public transport," Abe said, as reported by the TBS news outlet.
The measures will be in place beginning on Thursday. Japan has taken similar measures for all European nations, China, Iran and Egypt.
The National Security Council is set to discuss the temporary suspension of all flights between the two countries, the Japan Times reported, citing a government source.
As of Monday, the number of coronavirus cases in the US has ballooned to over 33,000, with more than 470 deaths as a result, putting it at the third-worst affected country after China and Italy.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry late last week raised the travel warning to the United States to the second of a four-level scale, urging its citizens to avoid all non-essential travel.
The Asian nation has reported over 40 deaths from about 1,100 confirmed cases, a significant proportion of which are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
As of Monday, the coronavirus pandemic has infected nearly 340,000 people and killed over 14,700 worldwide. Nearly 100,000 have recovered.