Japan expands entry ban to more countries, will ask all visitors to quarantine

People wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), takes a rest next to almost empty seats of a cafe and restaurant at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday the government was expanding a ban on the entry of non-Japanese people to cover 73 countries as policymakers try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of countries was increased by 49, including the United States, China and South Korea, he said.

Abe also said that everyone entering the country, including Japanese nationals, will be asked to go into a voluntary two-week quarantine. Both measures will be effective from Friday.

The premier said he has asked airlines to curb the number of international flights.

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto, writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Kim Coghill)