As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and the total number of cases globally surpasses 300,000 with more than 13,000 deaths, the United States has become the third worst place in the world for the disease. According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of March 22 the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US now totals 26,747, overtaking countries like Spain, Iran and Germany to make the US the nation with the third highest levels in the world—only lower than China and Italy.
And in New York City—the epicenter for the disease in the US—chilling reports have showed that coronavirus is killing more than one person an hour, as the city’s death toll reaches well into the double digits.
With the United States becoming the third-worst location for coronavirus in the world, the news is having a profound impact on life in America and beyond—especially in the travel space. Japan has raised its travel alert for the US to a Level 2, with the Japanese Foreign Ministry announcing on Sunday, March 22 that its citizens should not go to the United States unless it is essential. Japan currently has just over 1,000 cases of COVID-19.
This news also comes on the heels of the U.S. State Department raising its own worldwide travel advisory to a Level 4: Do Not Travel, which “advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.” The travel advisory also requires that any Americans currently overseas return to the US or shelter in place where they are.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, a travel advisory on the magnitude of a Level 4 has only used to warn against going to countries where travel is considered dangerous, such as Afghanistan, Iran or Iraq. According to CNN, an overseas diplomat said the Level 4 advisory is being used because US embassies are increasingly less able to help Americans abroad.