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Japan has suspended entry of all foreign visitors due to the threat of the new COVID-19 omicron variant.
The country has reimposed stricter border controls that it previously loosened for short-term business travellers, foreign students and workers. The tightened border restrictions will be in effect starting today, November 30.
“We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Kishida urged people to continue wearing masks and pursuing other basic anti-virus measures until further details of the new omicron variant are known. Japan is not alone in choosing an aggressive approach in handling the newly-discovered variant.
Meanwhile, other countries chose to continue with plans to loosen restrictions leading to full reopening such as Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Scientists cautioned that it is still unknown if the new omicron variant is more dangerous than other versions of a virus that has killed more than 5 million people.
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