The government will restrict the entry of tourists from China and South Korea to deal with the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to asking Beijing and Seoul to request that residents refrain from visiting Japan as tourists, the government will also invalidate tourist visas already issued.

In addition, the heads of local quarantine offices will have the authority under the Quarantine Law to detain residents of China and South Korea who seek entry between March 9 and 31 for up to two weeks.

The government will also limit arrivals of planes from China and South Korea to Narita and Kansai international airports and ask the two nations to suspend operations of passenger ships to Japan.

The current ban on entry of foreign nationals will be extended to those who have been in certain areas of South Korea and Iran.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected to announce the new measures on the evening of March 5 at a meeting of the government panel set up to respond to the novel coronavirus. A formal decision will be made at a subsequent National Security Council meeting.

Since February the government has implemented stronger measures related to the entry of foreign nationals, beginning with a ban on those who were in China’s Hubei and Zhejiang provinces two weeks prior to arriving in Japan and extending that to those who have been in South Korea’s Daegu and Cheongdo county in Gyeongsangbuk-do province.