Thursday 10/28/21
PANDEMIC

Japan bans foreign entry after new virus variant cases detected

The country has so far confirmed a total of eight cases of a new coronavirus variant identified in Britain.

16 December 2020, Japan, Tokyo: People wearing face masks walk around the Ginza shopping district. Tokyo reached a new single-day record of 678 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Wednesday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/dpa.
People wearing face masks walk around the Ginza shopping district, in Tokyo. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/dpa.

Japan on Monday temporarily suspended the entry of foreign nationals until the end of January after detecting cases of the new coronavirus strain discovered in Britain.

Japan has so far confirmed a total of eight cases of a new coronavirus variant identified in Britain. Four people have been hospitalized while the other four, who had no symptoms, were sent into quarantine, the Health Ministry said.

The full ban comes after Japan on Thursday began to impose a temporary ban on new arrivals by non-resident foreign nationals who have recently visited Britain and South Africa, where another new strain has been identified.

Japan has been facing a resurgence of the coronavirus, with a record high of 3,881 new infections on Saturday. It also marked the fourth day in a row that a record was set for daily cases.

Stop the spread

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged the public on Friday to have a "quiet" year-end and new year period to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Japan has so far avoided a virus outbreak on the scale seen in Europe and the United States, with a total of more than 220,000 known infections and about 3,250 Covid-19-related deaths.

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