Omicron scare: Japan has closed its borders to overseas travelers

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday, November 29, that Japan government will restrict all foreign nationals from entering the country in principle starting Tuesday, citing worries about the new Covid-19 Omicron form.

According to news sources, Kishida stated that the decision was made to avoid the worst-case situation, and that "it is a temporary precaution until information concerning the Omicron variant becomes known."

Exemptions for those who have recently visited any of nine African nations, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, have already been suspended in Japan.

In the meantime, in response to the new deadly Covid variant Omicron, India issued amended travel guidelines for overseas visitors coming into the country on Monday. Passengers arriving in India from "at-risk" nations must undertake COVID-19 testing at the airport (regardless of immunisation status). Negative RT-PCR test reports have to be uploaded to the Air Suvidha portal before the trip, according to the guidelines. The test should have been completed within 72 hours of leaving for the journey.

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