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Japan eases COVID rules against travel to Indonesia, Philippines

Advisories against visiting 125 areas now lifted as Tokyo strives to open up

Tokyo has finally lifted its advisory against travel to Indonesia, paving the way for Japanese residents to visit popular tourist spots like Bali. (Antara Foto/Fikri Yusuf/via Reuters)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government on Wednesday eased its travel warning over the coronavirus pandemic for 54 countries and a region, including Indonesia and the Philippines, and is no longer requesting that residents in Japan refrain from nonessential trips to those nations.

The Foreign Ministry said it had lowered the travel advisory for those areas from the second-lowest Level 2 on its four-point scale to Level 1, which advises Japanese nationals traveling to those regions to "stay fully alert."

Twenty-three countries and a region from the Middle East and Africa, such as Egypt and South Africa, were newly designated as Level 1. Eleven European nations including Ukraine and Russia, 10 Asian and Pacific countries such as Pakistan and Myanmar as well as 10 in Latin America were also newly designated as Level 1, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, 35 areas including Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Turkey remained under the Level 2 warning.

In addition, advisories for 41 other nations were downgraded from Level 3, which warns people to avoid all travel, to Level 2. Among them are 33 in the Middle East and Africa, four in the Caribbean, three in Eastern Europe, and Kyrgyzstan.

Seventy other nations and areas such as China, South Korea, India, the United States, Britain, France and Germany have already been moved to Level 1.

The total number of areas under the Level 1 category now stands at 125, while those at Level 2 have declined to 76. No nations fall into Level 3 and 4.

The ministry said it still recommends those who plan to travel overseas to get fully vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 infection.

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