Japan further extends strict entry ban until end of February amid Omicron concerns
TOKYO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday an entry ban on non-resident foreigners will be further extended until the end of February.
"The infection situations regarding Omicron are clearly different at home (and) from abroad, so the framework of the current border controls will be maintained until the end of February," Kishida told reporters.
The entry ban on non-resident foreigners in its current form has been in place since Nov. 30, 2021, following Japan's first case of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the COVID-19.
The current border control measures were initially set to last for about a month, which prohibited entry into Japan of non-resident foreigners and require returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents to quarantine in government-designated facilities.
The government said it would also restrict the number of people entering Japan to around 3,500 people a day.
Meanwhile, bans were in place for the re-entry of foreign residents in the country who have been to 11 nations, including South Africa, within 14 days, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press briefing.
The restrictions could be lifted based on "humanitarian considerations," Matsuno added.
Kishida had suggested on a TV show recently that a formal decision whether to continue with the strict entry ban in its current form would be decided once Japan's long weekend finished.