Japan bans all nonresident foreigners from entering amid omicron’s spread

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida answers questions from reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Monday.

All nonresident foreigners will be banned from entering Japan starting Tuesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Monday, amid the rising worry worldwide over the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Kishida called the move “an emergency preventive measure to avoid a worst-case scenario.”

The government currently bans the entry of nonresidents in principle, but had allowed since Nov. 8 some new arrivals under certain conditions. This included short-term business visitors, foreign students and technical interns if they have been fully vaccinated, submit plans about activities in Japan and meet other requirements. Arrivals from nine countries including South Africa had already not been permitted.

Regarding returning Japanese nationals and reentering foreign residents, the government has required those who have recently been to South Africa and eight other African countries to quarantine in facilities designated by the government for 10 days. Such measures will be taken for arrivals from 14 countries and regions where the omicron variant has been confirmed. The government intends to set the quarantine period depending on the situation of each country or region.