Japan To Ban Entries From 10 African Countries Over Omicron From Thursday

(@FahadShabbir)

Japan to Ban Entries From 10 African Countries Over Omicron From Thursday

Japan will impose indefinite ban on entry of all foreigners from 10 African countries where cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been found, including long-term visa holders who normally reside in Japan and were out of the country temporarily, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Wednesday

TOKYO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 01st December, 2021) Japan will impose indefinite ban on entry of all foreigners from 10 African countries where cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been found, including long-term visa holders who normally reside in Japan and were out of the country temporarily, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Wednesday.

"The measure comes into effect Thursday and will remain in place for the time being," Matsuno told a press conference, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

The list of 10 countries includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Exceptions due to special circumstances for entry apply to foreign spouses and children of Japanese citizens, diplomats and humanitarian cases. Matsuno also said that Japan was narrowing eligibility for such exemptions as part of efforts to keep out the Omicron variant, and would no longer accept government-funded international students or participants in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

Japan confirmed its first Omicron variant case on Tuesday, and has already barred foreign arrivals for all shorter-term visa holders. Japanese citizens and residents returning from abroad must spend up to ten days of their two-week quarantine period in a government-established facility.

The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa last week, and the World Health Organization has classified it as a variant of concern, as its high number of mutations in spike protein might make it more transmissible and dangerous than all previous strains.

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