Japan latest to slam borders shut

globaltimes -- Nov 29
Japan announced plans Monday to bar all new foreign travellers over the Omicron variant of COVID-19, joining a growing list of countries trying to erect virtual fortresses against the heavily mutated new strain.

G7 health ministers are expected to meet later on Monday to discuss the new strain - first detected in South Africa - and the fresh challenge it poses to global efforts to battle the pandemic.

The Japanese government has become the latest country to reinstate strict border controls that many had hoped would be a thing of the past, barring all new foreign arrivals just weeks after announcing it would finally allow some visa holders to enter the country.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country was "in a stronger position against the Omicron variant than other countries," citing voluntary mask-wearing and self-restraints about risk behaviors.

The Philippines also said it would temporarily suspend plans to allow fully vaccinated tourists entry, in a bid to prevent the variant taking off in a country where most of the population remains unvaccinated.

The variant is also throwing a tentative opening-up into doubt in Australia, where the government is now reconsidering plans to relax border restrictions further in just two days.

But with three Omicron cases confirmed in people flying into Australia from southern Africa, Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared reluctant to reimpose the kinds of strict lockdowns seen earlier in 2020. ...continue reading

新型コロナウイルスの新たな変異株「オミクロン株」の拡大を受け、岸田総理大臣は30日から外国人の入国を全面的に禁止する方針を発表しました。 - ANNnewsCH