Such as. Japan announced on Monday that it will suspend entry to all foreign visitors from around the world, at a time when the new alternative to the Omicron coronavirus is spreading, prompting many countries to tighten their border controls.
“We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. He added that the measure will go into effect on Tuesday.
Resolution means that Japan It will restore border controls that it lifted this month for short-term business visitors, students and foreign workers.
Kishida called on people to continue using masks and other basic anti-virus measures until more details are known about the Omicron variant.
Several countries have taken steps to strengthen their border controls, although scientists say it is not yet clear whether it is more worrisome than other versions of the virus.
Dutch Thirteen cases of infection with the new variant were confirmed on Sunday, while Canada And Australia I found two, the newest countries I’ve discovered in travelers from South Africa.
Countries around the world impose restrictions to limit the spread of the variant. Israel On Sunday decided to ban foreign nationals, the most extreme measure to date, and Morocco All flights suspended for two weeks.
Confirmed or suspected cases of the new variant have already emerged in several European countries, in Israel and Hong Kong, just days after researchers identified in South Africa. The “do first, ask later” approach reflected growing concern about the emergence of a potentially more contagious variant nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people, disrupting lives and economies around the world.
While there is still much to learn about the new alternative, researchers worry that it may be more resistant to vaccines and could mean the epidemic will last longer than expected.
In the Netherlands, health authorities confirmed that 13 people who arrived on flights from South Africa on Friday have tested positive for Omicron. They were among 61 people who tested positive for the virus on Friday after arriving on the last two flights at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam Before imposing a flight ban on South African countries. They were immediately isolated, mostly in a nearby hotel, while the sequence was in progress.
Health Minister Hugo de Jong said he had asked the board of his country’s public health institute if additional travel restrictions were needed, but said he wanted to coordinate with his EU counterparts because “I think these are really the steps we have to take together”.
Australian authorities said two foreign travelers had arrived in the country Sydney From Africa, they became the first to test positive for the omicron variant. Now arrivals from nine African countries must self-isolate in a hotel upon arrival.
Health Canada said the first two cases of the omicron variant were found in the country Ontario, after two people who had recently traveled to Nigeria tested positive.
Germany I reported three cases over the weekend.
Israel has taken steps to ban entry to foreigners and has quarantined all Israelis coming from abroad.
“Restrictions on the country’s borders are not an easy step, but a temporary and necessary step,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
Many countries have restricted or banned travel from various South African countries, most recently Morocco, New ZealandAnd ThailandAnd IndonesiaAnd SingaporeAnd Sri LankaAnd the moldive Islands And Kingdom Saudi Arabia. Places that have already imposed restrictions include BrazilAnd Canada, The European UnionAnd Iran And United State. This goes against advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), which warned against any overreaction before the variant was fully studied.
The South African government reacted angrily to the travel ban, which it said “is like punishing South Africa for advanced genetic sequencing and the ability to discover new variants faster.” He said he would try to persuade the countries that imposed the restrictions to reconsider.