Japan Reverts to Banning Entry to International Travellers Due to Omicron

Japan Reverts to Banning Entry to International Travellers Due to Omicron

Let's hope things don't get worse from here.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant has threatened the revival of tourism and other economic developments in Japan in the blink of an eye. While other nations are still waiting to see how infectious this variant actually is before drastically changing border measures, Japan has gone ahead and banned all international travellers from entering the country. This includes business travellers and international students. In comparison, most countries so far have only added to their red list instead of shutting their borders to international arrivals completely.

Also read: USA Entry Requirements: What to Know When Travelling During COVID-19

Japan bans international travellers

Image credit: Zhaoli JIN

According to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, this ban is effective starting 30 Nov 2021. “This is a preventive, emergency measure to avoid a worst-case scenario,” Kishida told reporters. That said, the entry ban will not affect arriving Japanese nationals. They will only have to quarantine in designated government facilities if they’re coming from the 14 countries where the Omicron variant has been confirmed. 

As of writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Omicron a variant of concern. However, WHO also said that they have yet to observe if Omicron is more transmissible and severe than the Delta variant. Studies are still underway. 

Japan reverting to the ban on international travellers is a huge blow to their academic institutions, which were given the go signal to start accepting foreign students again. The country started welcoming back foreign students on 8 Nov 2021, but has now temporarily stopped the processing of student visas. Foreign students make up most of the international arrivals Japan was hoping to welcome as it was gradually easing its border restrictions. 

Also read: These Surveys Suggest That the Japanese Will Still Continue Wearing Face Masks Post-COVID

We really hope that the Omicron variant won’t be as threatening as the Delta variant, but it’s always better to prepare countermeasures like what Japan is doing. Stand by for more updates about the Omicron variant and news on border restrictions!

Featured image credit: Jezael Mendoza| Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.