A person sits on a bench in an almost empty international departure terminal of Haneda Airport, where fewer people than usual are seen during Golden Week holidays following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan April 29, 2020.

TOKYO – The Japanese government on Tuesday raised its travel alert for Mexico and 12 other countries to the second-highest level, advising citizens not to travel to these areas in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference that non-Japanese citizens who have been in the 13 countries including Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, the Maldives, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, among others, within two weeks of their arrival in Japan will be turned away at the border.

According to Motegi, the entry ban will be finalized soon after discussions at the National Security Council and a government task force meeting on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The addition will bring the total number of countries and regions covered by the entry ban to 100, including China, South Korea, the United States and European countries.

While Japanese citizens can re-enter the country, they must undergo coronavirus testing and self-quarantine for two weeks to see if they develop symptoms such as high fever and coughing.

The Level 3 advisory is the second-highest on the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s four-level advisory scale, with the highest Level 4 urging Japanese nationals to “evacuate immediately” from a country or area and “avoid all travel regardless of purpose.”

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