Japan will again ban the entry of non-citizens and residents effectively tomorrow, the government announced on Monday.
The country had slightly loosened entry restrictions for business travelers and those coming to study or for vocational training. Also, most have been allowed to quarantine/self-isolate at their homes. However, those returning from countries where Omicron-variant has spread need to quarantine for ten nights at government-designated facilities.
Here’s an excerpt from the Japan Times:
The government announced Monday that it will ban all incoming foreign travelers for one month effective Tuesday in an effort to prevent the omicron variant from spreading domestically.
New restrictions will encompass all new entries — including foreign exchange students, interns and those traveling for business — from every country in the world.
The entry ban will not affect Japanese nationals or foreign residents returning to the country, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, but those returning from designated countries where the variant has been reported will need to isolate at a government-designated facility for three to 10 days.
“This is a preventative, emergency measure to avoid a worst-case scenario,” Kishida told reporters Monday afternoon.
Entry into Japan from nine African countries had been tightened over the weekend after a fervor of chilling reports emerged last week about a new virus strain discovered in South Africa that experts warn could be more contagious than all previous iterations of COVID-19.
This change mainly affects a small number of business travelers that would have received permission to travel under the new rules introduced earlier this month. Those wishing to enter Japan to study or for vocational training won’t be allowed to enter either.
The world was slowly opening up before this latest variant hit. So let’s hope that it won’t set us back months, but rather only weeks.