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Govt ups travel advice warning for Japan

Due to the spread of coronavirus, the Australian Government has increased its overall level of travel advice for Japan, recommending visitors “exercise a high degree of caution”. 


Shibuya crossing, Tokyo


The new warning is the result of “a heightened risk of sustained local transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)” in the Asian nation, and is based on advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said. 


“Monitor your health closely. Follow the media for updates affecting your health and obey any instructions issued by local authorities. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your doctor,” DFAT writes on its Smartraveller website.


Announced Sunday, the advice comes just after more passengers were released from the still stranded Diamond Princess cruise ship over the weekend, including 23 passengers who disembarked without being properly tested for coronavirus. 


According to SBS, Japan’s health minister has apologised for the oversight.  


Authorities say coronavirus has infected a large number of people in Japan, and been responsible for some deaths.


According to advice on Smartraveller, Australian passengers on board the Diamond Princess who did not return home on the Government’s chartered flight on 19 February “will not be able to return to Australia freely until 4 March 2020 at the earliest”.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 24 February 2020

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