Japan Renews Border Controls as Omicron Spreads

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan announced the suspension of entry of all foreign visitors on Monday as the new coronavirus variant Omicron spreads.

“We will ban the (new) entry of foreigners from around the world starting from November 30,” Kishida said, adding that the measures would take effect on Tuesday.

Japan has tightened entry restrictions for travelers from South Africa and eight other countries in the region and required a 10-day quarantine at government-designated facilities.

Last week, South Africa reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) the existence of the Omicron variant, a “variant of concern” according to WHO because of its large number of mutations that could be highly transmissible and pose an increased risk of reinfection to people who previously caught COVID-19.

Many other countries have moved to tighten their borders after the discovery of the new omicron variant.

Meantime, Kishida said his government would carry on with its plan to begin administering booster shots next month while looking to health experts to provide additional data.


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