Dec. 01 Update
The Japanese government announced today that foreigners from countries where a new strain of COVID-19, Omicron, has been discovered will not be allowed to enter Japan even if they have a re-entry permit.
Previously, entry into Japan was restricted to foreigners who did not have a re-entry permit (those who did not have a permit to stay in Japan).
A few days ago, a new strain of COVID-19, Omicron, appeared in South Africa, claiming to be 500 times more contagious than the Delta strain that had previously ravaged the world. In response, the Japanese government, which had already opened its doors to international students, technical interns, and short-term business travelers from overseas on November 8, said at approximately 13:10 p.m. Tokyo time today (November 29, 2021) that it will stop the new foreigners(Foreigners without long-term residency in Japan) entering the country tomorrow (November 30, 2021), and that the restrictions will cover the entire world this time.
According to Japanese media reports, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in an interview at the Prime Minister’s official residence in the morning that Japan is now facing a strong sense of crisis brought about by the Omicron virus, and will think of the worst-case to deal with the situation; in addition, as the virus has a tendency to expand globally, at noon the Kishida government formally decided to close the borders completely and prohibit the entry of new foreigners, including international students, technical interns, and short-term business travelers from overseas.
Originally, on the 8th of this month, the Japanese government reopened the entry of foreign students, technical interns, and short-term business travelers based on the domestic vaccination rate of over 75% and the stabilizing number of new infections per day. However, due to the outbreak of the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, in South Africa, and the confirmation of the diagnosis of a male in his 30s from Namibia, southern Africa, at Narita Airport on November 28 (although it is not yet confirmed whether it is the new Omicron strain), Japan has once again declared a border closure and stopped the already open new regulations on entry into the country just 21 days ago.
On the day the man from Namibia, South Africa, was diagnosed on the 28th, the Japanese government announced that it would only impose entry controls on African countries where the Omicron strain had been detected; however, just one day later, after a joint discussion between government officials and epidemic prevention experts, the ban has been extended to cover the entire world. Those who have already returned to Japan from the 14 countries or regions where the Omicron outbreak has occurred will be subject to strict quarantine at designated Japanese government facilities.
This total ban is only an emergency precaution and a temporary exception, but it is not known when the new regulations will be opened again for foreigners to enter Japan, so all we can do is wait.
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