Tokyo [Japan], December 23 (ANI): In view of the threat posed by the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, Japan on Wednesday has decided to tighten entry restrictions on travellers from the United Kingdom.
Beginning Thursday, Japan will temporarily ban new arrivals of foreign nationals coming for purposes such as business or study, Kyodo News reported citing the country's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato. The existing foreign residents, however, will still be allowed to enter, added Cabinet Secretary Kato.
Also from Thursday, the government will suspend an exemption from 14-day quarantine for Japanese nationals and foreign residents returning from short-term business trips of no longer than seven days to UK, Kyodo News reported.
Informing about the flight restrictions, Kato said Japanese nationals arriving from UK from Sunday will be required to take virus tests within 72 hours before departure and submit the results upon arrival.
"We have decided to swiftly take action to thoroughly prevent the spread of the virus within Japan and make people feel safe," Kato said.
Several countries have imposed restrictions on travel from UK following the discovery of the more transmissible strain of Covid-19, which has been reported to have caused a spike in infections in London and southeast England.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Japan stood at 203,732 with 2,897 deaths on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. (ANI)