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Japan suspends entry for non-resident foreigners amidst new Covid variant

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Japan is suspending nonresident foreign nationals from entering the country starting tomorrow through late January as a precaution to stop the spread of a new and possibly more transmissible strain of the Covid-19 virus.

Japanese citizens and foreign residents alike will also have to submit negative virus test results within 72 hours of departing to Japan from countries and territories where the new variant has been first reported and undergo tests upon arrival. Britain was the first country to report the new variant in Covid-19.

The government, however, says students and business people from 10 countries, which include Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea, would not be affected by the suspension policy.

Earlier today, the government reported 2 more people to have been infected with the variant, with 1 being confirmed as the first domestically transmitted case. Tokyo has already banned entry to foreign nationals who have recently been to Britain and South Africa.

Tokyo had previously banned the entry of people from up to 159 counties and territories at one point amid the pandemic, but began on October 1 to conditionally allow entry from people worldwide who plan to stay in the country for more than 3 months for business and other approved purposes.

Japan will stop the issuance of new visas starting Monday, with those already obtaining visas being allowed to enter. However, anyone coming from Britain or South Africa within 14 days of applying for an entry permit will be excluded.

Last Friday, the government said 5 people under the age of 70 had been confirmed as infected with the new variant following their arrival from Britain.

Yesterday, Japan confirmed 3,881 coronavirus cases, and 47 deaths, marking the 4th straight day of reaching the highest daily amount of infections recorded since the virus pandemic began. In total, Japan’s number of virus cases stands at 219,070.

British health officials say the new strain, could be up to 70% more transmissible but there was no evidence of it being deadlier. Furthermore, they say the new strain hasn’t shown to be resistant of the vaccines.

The variant has also been reportedly found in Australia, France, Italy, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Didn’t someone just say Japan had got it “right”?

    • Avatar

      John Brown

      Monday, December 28, 2020 at 12:14 am

      People will say anything but Japan’s response was by far the worst of the East Asian countries, that is if you don’t count the DPRK. Between the Diamond Princess and making half their communications about how the Olympics wouldn’t be canceled, spring 2020 was far from their finest moment. They may still gain control – if they can apply containment strategies domestically and not waste this boost in border restrictions.

  2. Avatar

    Ajan Jack

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Too bad they couldn’t use a current photo of Japanese people. They ALL are wearing masks during thus epidemic.

  3. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Considering the UK announced 39,000 + new cases of covid on Christmas Eve, many of which may be attributable of the recently discovered mutated virus, I think they were very wise. Travel from the UK has been banned by about half the worlds governments at the moment, it just keeps getting worse. It puts Thailand’s current problem into perspective though, doesn’t it?

  4. Avatar

    Disgruntled GenXer

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    No excuse for using “amidst” in that headline

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      It’s in the dictionary, perfectly acceptable

  5. Avatar

    Joe Vance

    Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    “amid the chaos” and “amid the trees” seem fine.

    but using the wannabe-posh “amidst” here smacks of indecision. Why is everyone so afraid to be more direct. The new variant is most definitely why Japan expanded their ban.

    “Fearing new COVID variant, Japan tightens entry ban” is far more informative.

    Not that the moderator will have the courage to let this get posted.

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      Amidst is a word. What’s your problem?

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