Japan continues to close its borders until the end of February

Destination Editor
10:30:25 - January 16, 2022

Japan’s Prime Minister said the country would maintain its tight entry restrictions to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant until the end of February.

Japan has adopted the strictest border controls in the world when the Omicron variant emerged late last year, banning all entry by non-Japanese, including students and foreign family members of Japanese or permanent residents, unless in exceptional circumstances.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said: “Thanks to the toughest border rules in the G7 nations, we’ve been able to keep the spread of Omicron to a minimal level, giving us time to prepare to deal with domestic infection.”

He added that much remains unknown about Omicron, but it appears that the risk of serious cases is lower. Still, he said Japan would start vaccinating children under 12 years old. Entry to Japan is currently applied to citizens and permanent residents, but they still have to follow strict testing and quarantine rules.

In some cases, the rules have kept families apart, causing protests and petitions calling for change. Media reports said the government was considering easing some of the rules in exceptional cases.

Japan continues to close its borders until the end of February

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