Covid-19: Japan confirms first case of Omicron variant, bans entry of foreign visitors

Traveller from Namibia had tested positive for the coronavirus at the airport



Pedestrians, wearing protective masks against Covid-19, make their way in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Reuters)
Pedestrians, wearing protective masks against Covid-19, make their way in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Reuters)

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 11:21 AM

Japan has confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified government sources.

Japan shut its borders to foreigners on Tuesday for at least a month, among the strictest measures in the world to halt entry of Omicron, recently discovered in southern Africa and declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation.

Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto said on Monday that a traveller from Namibia had tested positive for the coronavirus at the airport, and that further tests were needed to find out if it was from the new variant.

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Japan bans entry of foreign visitors

Japan announced Monday it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors from around the world as a new coronavirus variant spreads.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the measure will take effect Tuesday.

The decision means Japan will restore border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers.

Over the weekend, Japan tightened entry restrictions for people arriving from South Africa and eight other countries, requiring them to undergo a 10-day quarantine period at government-designated facilities.

Many countries have moved to tighten their borders after the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus was found in a number of nations.


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