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Japan Bans Some Foreign Residents From Re-Entering

Travellers from 10 African nations, including South Africa, will be prevented from re-entering the country “for the time being” even if they are legal residents.


A man walks past an arrivals board showing cancelled flights at Tokyo's Haneda international airport on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

 

Japanese authorities said on Wednesday a travel ban on foreigners entering the nation would be extended to some residents.

Travellers from 10 African nations, including South Africa, would be prevented from re-entering the country “for the time being” even if they were legal residents.

On Monday, Japan took some of the strictest steps globally by closing its borders to all newly entering foreigners in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

A day later, Japan’s first Omicron case – a Namibian diplomat – was discovered.

The border closure will take effect from midnight on Wednesday for at least a month.

The new rules will apply to foreign residents from South Africa, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

“From the view of prevention, we won’t just restrict new entry by foreigners but also returning foreigners with resident status, unless there are special extenuating circumstances,” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.

“We will maintain a sense of urgency and keep track of the situation in various countries to be able to respond quickly and flexibly.”

In regard to other passengers on the plane with the Namibian diplomat, Matsuno said none of the 70 people designated as close contacts had shown signs of falling ill.

 

  • Reuters with George Russell

 


 

READ MORE:

Japan to Bar Foreign Visitors Due to Omicron Threat

Japan Plans Extra Budget With $312bn Spending To Tackle Covid

 

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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