The US State Department issued a travel warning to Japan on Monday (May 24) due to a recent outbreak of coronavirus cases just two months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.
In addition, the department released a “Level 4” alert against travelling to Sri Lanka due to an increase in infections there. It saw a lower risk of visiting Antigua and Barbuda, dropping the islands to a “Level 3 – Reconsider Travel” designation.
The US “Do Not Travel” advisory and guidance for Japan did not mention the Olympics specifically but warned against visiting the country now. A top Olympic official last week said the Games would start as planned on Jul 23 even under a state of emergency after being postponed in 2020 during the pandemic.
“Travellers should avoid all travel to Japan,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidance. “Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which governs Team USA, said in a statement to Reuters that it was made aware of the new State Department advisory about Japan.
“We feel confident that the current mitigation practices in place for athletes and staff by both the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, coupled with the testing before travel, on arrival in Japan, and during Games time, will allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes this summer,” the statement said.