Faced with the Omicron variant, Japan is closing in on visitors

The easing only lasted three weeks. Japan has decided to close its borders again to combat the threat of the new variant of the coronavirus Omicron, which appears to be spreading around the planet.

“We are going to ban all [nouvelles] entries of foreign nationals from all over the world from 30 November », announced Monday, November 29, the Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, to the press. Japanese returning from nine southern African states and countries where infections with the new variant have been identified will have to submit to “Strict isolation measures according to the risks”, said Mr. Kishida.

Japan, which put in place border restrictions early in the pandemic, eased its measures for business travelers, students and foreign interns in early November, but remains closed to tourists.

Read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers Concerns and unknowns of the new Omicron variant

WHO pleads for keeping borders open

The Japanese government announced on Friday the extension to ten days of isolation at the hotel for visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe arriving in Japan . Tokyo extended this measure this weekend for visitors arriving from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

First identified in South Africa, the Omicron variant prompted many countries to close their borders to southern Africa when they had sometimes barely reopened to the world.

Beyond southern Africa, contaminations with this new strain have been detected in the G7 countries, from Canada to Italy, including Great Britain and Germany. The appearance of the Omicron variant has been judged “Worrying” by the World Health Organization (WHO), which however calls for maintaining open borders.

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The World with AFP

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