The international spread of COVID-19 infection has attracted global attention, but the impact of local or domestic travel restriction on public transportation network remains unclear. Passenger volume data for the domestic public transportation network in Japan and the time at which the first confirmed COVID-19 case was observed in each prefecture were extracted from public data sources. A survival approach in which a hazard was modeled as a function of the closeness centrality on the network was utilized to estimate the risk of importation of COVID-19 in each prefecture. A total of 46 prefectures with imported cases were identified. Hypothetical scenario analyses indicated that both strategies of locking down the metropolitan areas and restricting domestic airline travel would be equally effective in reducing the risk of importation of COVID-19. While caution is necessary that the data were limited to June 2020 when the pandemic was in its initial stage and that no other virus spreading routes have been considered, domestic travel restrictions were effective to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation network in Japan. Instead of lockdown that might seriously damage the economy, milder travel restrictions could have the similar impact on controlling the domestic transmission of COVID-19.
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