WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that the United States may introduce tighter travel restrictions on Japan, South Korea and Italy amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"We're watching Italy very closely, South Korea very closely, even Japan very closely," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We'll make the right determination at the right time."
But the president stopped short of explaining specifically what kind of measures his administration is considering taking.
The US Department of State has raised its travel alert for Japan to the second-lowest level of its four-tier warning system, calling on travelers to exercise increased caution.
The department has recommended travelers cancel their visits to parts of South Korea and Italy and banned entry to the United States by those who stayed in China or Iran in the past 14 days.
Asked on whether this summer's Tokyo Olympics should be held, Trump said, "I'm going to leave that to (Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe."
Noting that the Olympic venue in Tokyo is "incredible," Trump said, "It's a very sad thing" if the quadrennial event is canceled.