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Coronavirus: Japan closed its borders to foreigners again

The Government of Japan announced this Monday that it will restrict entry to the country of new foreign residents, as well as the granting of study visas or for short business stays, due to concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Faced with a possible worsening of the situation, we have decided to prohibit new entries from all countries of the world as preventive and urgent measure“, the Japanese Prime Minister warned, Fumio Kishida.

The new resolution, which will take effect on Tuesday, represents “an abnormal and temporary measure. until the situation is clarified by the new strain“, Kishida told the press.

Japanese airports will not receive new foreign residents, starting on November 30. Photo Kimimaa Mayama / EFE

Japan, which has recorded just over 18,300 deaths from the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, thus opts again for the almost total closure of its borders due to the spread of the new variant of the virus, after having relaxed its restrictions at the beginning of month to allow the entry of people with business or study visas.

In recent days, before the appearance of the variant from Africa, Japan had decided to tighten the entry conditions from nine countries on that continent, in which the strain known as Omicron had been detected (South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia).

No confirmed cases

In Japan, no contagion from the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been registered, although a person from Namibia is being tested for positive to determine if it could be the Omicron strain, Kishida said.

Coronavirus infections in Japan remain down and remained below two hundred daily cases across the country in recent weeks. An encouraging figure for the country is that 76.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

This positive evolution led the authorities to lift all domestic restrictions that had been in place for months due to the pandemic, and which mainly affected businesses such as bars and restaurants.

Kishida said they test a positive in a person from Namibia.  Photo Noriko Hayashi / Bloomberg

Kishida said they test a positive in a person from Namibia. Photo Noriko Hayashi / Bloomberg

The Japanese Executive also decided to allow the entry of new residents on November 8, a measure that affected foreign students, trainees or business travelers, who will no longer be able to enter the country from this Tuesday due to the new restrictions , which however will not affect foreigners already settled in Japan.

The Asian country, in addition, keeps its borders closed for the arrival of foreign tourists from the first phase of the pandemic.

In South America there are also restrictions

The Argentine Government made official in the first hours of this Monday strong restrictions and new measures for those who come from or have been in Africa, among which are the imposition of a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

According to what is stated in Administrative Decision 1163/2021 of the Official Gazette, “any person who comes from or has been in the African continent or in the affected areas defined by the national health authority in the last fourteen days prior to entering the country , will be subject to compliance with current immigration requirements and the set of mandatory health provisions “.

In this context, those who make up this group of people must “inform, in their Affidavit, if they come from or if they were, in the last 14 days prior to entering the country, in the affected areas defined by the national health authority.”

Paraguay showed itself in the same direction as Japan and established the entry ban for foreign travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

This measure is based on the risk of introducing the new variant to the neighboring country, at a time of increasing cases with a predominance of the Delta variant and with low complete coverage at the population level of the anticovid-19 vaccine, according to the official report. of the sanitary portfolio.

With information from EFE and AFP



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