Japan announced on Monday that it would restrict entry for foreigners worldwide as a new coronavirus variant is spreading extremely fast, leading to a large number of nations tightening their border security.
“We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. The move will be in effect from Tuesday.
The decision will mean that Japan will reintroduce border control which it relaxed earlier this month for business travelers on short-term visits and international students and workers. When he spoke to reporters in his office, Kishida stated that the law would be in effect at 12 a.m. in November. 30 and stay in development for some time.
Kishida advised people to stick wearing masks and other anti-virus precautions until more details about the new omicron-based variant are available. Several countries have taken steps to increase the security of their borders when scientists warn that it’s still unclear if this new variant is more severe than the other variants from the virus.
The variation was first discovered recently by researchers from South Africa, and much remains unknown about it, such as whether it’s more contagious and more likely to trigger severe illness or more able to avoid protection from vaccines. Many countries have rushed to take action, expressing concern about anything that could intensify the spread of the disease, which has killed more than five million individuals.
Many countries consider these bans, even though WHO guidelines warn against overreaction before thoroughly researching the alternative.
The WHO released an announcement that the organization “stands with African nations” and stated that travel restrictions can have “a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19 but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.” If conditions are imposed and are based on science, they should be supported and not overly intrusive.
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