TOKYO -- Japan will quarantine all visitors from coronavirus-hit China and South Korea at hospitals or other designated facilities before granting them entry permits, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
Travelers from the two countries will be required to stay in quarantine for two weeks, effective next Monday.
"We are strengthening the quarantine of people coming from China and South Korea to stop the spread of the virus and ease people's concerns," Abe said.
"We are in a crucial period. It's important not to hesitate to take decisive action on border controls," he added. "We will take aggressive action."
The Japanese government revealed the plan the same day Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan was postponed.
Japan is also cancelling some short-term travel visas, likely those issued at Japanese embassies and consulates in China and South Korea. Both single- and multiple-entry visas will be affected.
These measures add to a spate of new travel restrictions around the world. They will further squeeze business and the tourism sector, raising the pressure on Japanese economy, which contracted in the final quarter of last year.
Japan will also ban travel from certain regions of Iran and South Korea -- both countries that have suffered many deaths from the virus.
To fight a shortage of protective masks, Abe said he will soon issue a ban on the resale of these products at prohibitively high prices. The goal is to keep overpriced masks off online markets, which are taking their own steps to fight price gouging.
The government will buy 20 million reusable cloth masks to distribute to senior care facilities, preschools and other priority locations as part of a second round of measures to be finalized as early as Tuesday.
Also on Thursday, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced that the country will ban foreign travelers who have been in certain parts of South Korea, Iran and Italy in the last 14 days, effective Sunday. The areas of concern, among others, are Tehran in Iran, the Lombardi region of Italy and the city of Daegu in South Korea.
For travelers who have been in the three countries but not the specified areas, a health certificate issued by relevant authorities will need to be presented at check-in.
Indonesian nationals returning from the three countries will be required to undergo additional health checks upon arrival. The foreign minister added that the measures are temporary, and "will be evaluated in accordance with developments."
Additional reporting by Shotaro Tani in Jakarta.