UNWHO rules out Japan travel restrictions

23rd Mar 2011

The United Nations World Health Organisation (UNWHO) has ruled out recommending travel restrictions to Japan as the fallout from the recent earthquake continues.

Technicians continue to battle fires at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, with new electricity cables laid today in an effort to restore power to cooling apparatus.

Japan has continued to insist radiation from the plant poses no risk to the population.

However, the WHO has advised travellers to avoid visiting the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami because of disruptions to infrastructure.

Only those directly involved in the emergency response near the plant who failed to undergo proper decontamination would pose a health risk to others, it added.

“Travellers returning from Japan who have come from the 20-kilometer evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and who have undergone proper screening and decontamination procedures, and travellers from all other areas, do not pose a radioactive health risk to others and do not require screening,” explained the WHO in a statement.

Screening

Information from five United Nations organisations, including the WHO, International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation, led those groups to conclude that flight and maritime operations can continue “normally” into and out of Japan, excluding regions affected by the tsunami.

Screening for radiation of international passengers from Japan is not considered necessary at this time, the organisations said in a joint statement.

ICAO, the IMO and the WHO were joined in the statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Meteorological Organisation.

The International Air Transport Association has, however, said it expects a “major slowdown” in Japanese aviation.

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