June 26, 2022

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday announced the country to suspend its borders to new entries by foreigners over new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, as the country aims to avoid the worst-case scenario.

According to reports, the new measures will begin from Tuesday and last for about one month. The list includes 14 countries and regions including Britain and Germany. Japanese citizens and foreign residents will have to face tougher quarantine requirements.

The country recently on Nov. 8 had eased its ban on new entries by foreigners, allowing in businesspeople, students and participants in its technical internship program on condition that their host organizations agreed to monitor their activities.

List of measures –

• The country starting from Wednesday will lower its daily limit for the number of people arriving from 5,000 back down to 3,500.
• Japanese citizens and foreign residents returning, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated will be required to isolate for two weeks.
• Travelers who have recently been to Angola will be required to spend the first 10 days of their isolation periods in government-designated facilities.
• Nine other countries falling under the same rule — Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
• Travelers from Britain, Israel, Italy and the Netherlands will require to spend six days in government-designated facilities.
• While those from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Canadian province of Ontario, and Hong Kong will be required to spend three days.
According to the Foreign Ministry official, the country’s latest response to the Omicron variant is the most substantial among members of the Group of Seven countries.

The Prime Minister in the meeting revealed that a person who arrived from Namibia has tested positive for the coronavirus. While an analysis to verify which variant the person is infected with is currently under way.

According to the health ministry, the infected man had arrived at Narita airport on Sunday.

With the latest discovery of the new variant, the government could could up its plans to restart the “Go To Travel” program, that was meant to boost the domestic tourism sector.