Tokyo: Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday said that the easing of entry rules for foreigners introduced earlier this month is being cancelled and the border ban is being reinstated in order to prevent the spread of new COVID strain Omicron.
"We are banning the entry of foreigners from all countries starting November 30," Sputnik reported quoting Kishida as saying today. Japan eased entry restrictions for foreigners on November 8. Kishida said that Japan was going to toughen entry restrictions because the situation with the omicron strain was "critical."
Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases has raised its coronavirus variant alert on Omicron to the highest level.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the new South African strain of the coronavirus, Omicron, as one of concern, since it may be more transmissible and dangerous.
Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) has advised the WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron, a statement said.
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus.
Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands were among those that joined the United Kingdom in restricting flights from southern Africa.