Japan Retracts Its Statement To Ban Reservation Of Inbound Flights After Harsh Criticism

The Japanese government has reversed its decision to completely halt the booking of flights for inbound passengers until later this month after concerns that the move against the Omicron is excessive.

Premier Secretary Fumio Kishida admitted the transport minister’s announcement earlier in the day was due to confusion. He also told reporters that he had instructed staff to “adequately consider” people’s desires to travel home.

A visitor and an airline company staff member wearing protective face masks are seen at the arrival gate of the international flight terminal at Tokyo International Airport, commonly know as Haneda airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

According to the previous announcement, Japanese citizens and residents of other countries could not return to Japan after a holiday if they did not have reservations.

The top spokesman of the government Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, said at an event in which the ministry had pulled its request to airlines to not accept bookings for flights inbound.

After the announcement, All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. said they were preparing to accept some reservations.

Bookings are allowed within the limits of the government’s daily limit of 3,500 guests arriving from abroad. Matsuno says there is no distinction in the priority of Japanese citizens and foreigners. The previous decision triggered outrage from those confronted with the prospect of being unable for weeks to return home.

Matsuno, in turn, stated that the government is considering reducing the time between when a person gets their second COVID-19 vaccine and being eligible to receive a booster shot “based on changes in the infection situation, preparations by local authorities and vaccine supply.”

Japan To retract reservation of inbound flights

Booster shots started being given to medical professionals at the beginning of the week. The remainder of the population is scheduled to receive them by the end of next year.


Source: JapanToday

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