Japan to allow omicron close contacts to take regular exams

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry will withdraw its policy of not allowing people who had close contact with carriers of the omicron coronavirus variant to take regular university entrance examinations, sources said Monday.

Shinsuke Suematsu, education, culture, sports, science and technology minister, was set to announce soon the withdrawal of the ministry’s new guidelines calling on universities to have such people take additional exams instead of regular exams.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed the ministry to secure opportunities to take regular entrance exams for such test-takers.

The previous guidelines said that test-takers confirmed to be close contacts of those infected with the coronavirus would be allowed to take regular exams in isolated rooms if they had tested negative in coronavirus polymerase chain reaction tests and meet requirements such as being asymptomatic on the day of the exam.

On Friday, the ministry revised the guidelines to exclude omicron close contacts from regular exams after the government requested that such people self-isolate for 14 days.