On 24 May 2021, the U.S. Department of State upgraded the Travel Advisory for Japan to “Level 4: Do Not Travel” from “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” due in part to coronavirus-related restrictions. The updated advisory reads in part as follows: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Japan due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Japan. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Japan.”

The full text of the advisory is available here.

Analyst Comment: Under the previous advisory, the CDC COVID-19 rating was “Level 3: High,” the second-highest level on a four-tier scale. The updated rating is reportedly due to the methodology used by the CDC, which evaluates several factors, including testing, incident and reproduction rates. According to the data, Japan’s incidence rate reached 120 cases per 100,000 people on 21 May. By CDC criteria, more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 28-day period meets the standard to be rated as Level 4