State Department, CDC warn against travel to Japan ahead of Summer Olympics

The State Department gave one Travel tips Monday warning of travel to Japan, where Covid-19 infection rates are rising about two months before the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The Level 4: Do Not Travel Guidelines make no explicit mention of the Olympics, which were delayed last year and are due to start on July 23. In Japan, the number of cases has risen as the government started vaccinating health workers and people aged 65 and over.

According to an NBC News tally, the country had over 36,000 Covid-19 cases and 779 deaths for a total of nearly 716,000 cases in the past seven days. Japan, where over 12,000 people have died in total, is also still in a state of emergency as it prepares to host 11,000 athletes from 200 nations and territories.

The State Department noted that travel for tourism and other short-term purposes is still not permitted in Japan. Visa-free travel is also suspended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated a travel advisory on Monday warning against traveling to Japan.

“Travelers should avoid any trip to Japan,” said the CDC. “Given the current situation in Japan, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of receiving and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid traveling to Japan.”

The agency added, “If you need to travel to Japan, get a full vaccination before you travel.”

NBC will broadcast the Tokyo Games, which were postponed last summer due to the pandemic.

John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, said Friday that the Games will be safe.

“I can say that it is clearer now than ever that these games are safe for all participants and safe for the people of Japan,” Coates said in a virtual press conference. Reuters reported. “After eight years of hard work and planning, the finish line is within reach.”

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