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US military in Japan reports a single new coronavirus case; Army permits public transportation

Yokota Air Base is home to the 374th Airlift Wing, 5th Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo.

STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 17, 2020

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TOKYO — One person at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday as the number of new patients within the U.S. military in Japan continues to decline.

The new patient was tested by Japanese authorities at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo after returning from travel abroad, according to a statement from the 374th Airlift Wing. That person went directly into quarantine, as required of anyone arriving into the country.

U.S. Forces Japan also requires all personnel arriving in the country to isolate themselves for 14 days. Yokota remains under a public health emergency, although some restrictions have been eased in the past month.

Elsewhere, U.S. Army Japan loosened travel restrictions on its personnel Wednesday at Camp Zama and the nearby Sagami General Depot and Sagamihara Family Housing Area.

Personnel at those locations may now travel during off-peak hours by train, buses, taxis and hired cars in a 93-mile-wide area around Camp Zama. The installation is 28 miles southwest of central Tokyo, which remains off-limits.

Public transportation is barred from 6-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the Army. Traveling through restricted areas is still off-limits and riders should avoid vehicles with greater than 50% occupancy.

The Army requires its personnel while on public transportation to wear masks and refrain from eating, drinking and talking except for health and safety reasons.

The service also raised the 10:30 p.m. curfew back to 1 a.m. for sergeants and below, which is uniform across U.S. Forces Japan.

Bars and nightclubs and similar venues remain off-limits, although the Army increased the number of people who can take part in physical activity from the team to the squad level.

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