Japan to expand entry restrictions
NHK -- Mar 19
Japan plans to expand its quarantine measures on Saturday to include people entering the country from most of Europe, Iran and Egypt.

The government said on Wednesday it will start asking both foreign and Japanese nationals from 38 countries to isolate themselves for two weeks in designated places such as homes and hotels.

They are also to be asked not to use public transportation in Japan. Visas issued in those countries are to be invalidated.

The measures are the same as those already imposed on people entering Japan from China and South Korea.

The government says the new policy will continue until the end of April.

The government also announced that it will expand entry restrictions to foreigners from parts of Italy, Switzerland and Spain, and all of Iceland, from Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will issue a "level 1" travel alert, the lowest on a four-level list, for the entire world, sending a signal to Japanese people to reconsider any overseas trips.

The measures were decided at a meeting of a government taskforce on Wednesday.

The taskforce also drafted measures to assist people who are economically affected by the spread of the new coronavirus.

Loans of up to nearly 2,000 dollars are to be provided to support self-employed businesspeople who suffer loss of income due to the virus.

The government plans to ask utilities to delay payment of bills for needy people. Grace periods may also be given for taxes and social security payments depending on individual situations.

News source: NHK
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