Photo/Illutration The Foreign Ministry in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Japanese government is widening its entry ban list to include foreign travelers from another 13 countries, including Mexico, further tightening travel restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The decision follows an emergency ministerial meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on May 14 and takes effect on May 16.

The entry ban established amid the COVID-19 pandemic now targets 100 countries and regions.

The latest countries to be included in the ban are the Maldives in Asia; Uruguay, Colombia, the Bahamas, Honduras and Mexico in Central and South America; Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in Europe; Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Equatorial Guinea in Africa.

Travelers who stayed in these 13 countries within two weeks of arrival will not be allowed to enter Japan, except in special cases.

Japanese nationals can still enter the nation but will need to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and will be asked to stay at places designated by quarantine stations, such as hotels or airports, until the results come back.

The Foreign Ministry has raised the infection risk level for travel to the 13 countries to level 3 and is recommending people cancel their travel plans to these countries.