Japan bans entry for foreigners starting Monday amid mutant Covid scare

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Representative Image

Tokyo [Japan], December 26 (ANI/Sputnik): Japan will suspend entry for foreigners starting Monday to contain the spread of a new strain of COVID-19 first discovered in the UK, the Kyodo news agency reported.

On Friday, Japan has registered the first cases of the new strain of the coronavirus. The country is also seeing record daily infections of the original coronavirus for the fourth day on end.

The media outlet stressed that all Japanese nationals would be obliged to submit negative COVID-19 test results received within 72 hours before their departure from any country that had confirmed cases of the mutant virus. Moreover, passengers would have to pass another COVID-19 test upon their arrival in Japan.

The government added that the entry ban would not apply to the businessmen and students from 10 countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan, with which Japan had reached an agreement regarding the issue.

The media also noted that the government had decided to suspend the issuance of new visas from Monday.

Last week, the UK announced that a new coronavirus strain was detected in the country, with the new variant 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. After the news emerged, many countries suspended travel to and from the UK. However, there is no evidence that the new strain is more pathogenic. The cases of the new variant of the virus have been reported by a number of countries, including Denmark, Singapore and Spain. On Thursday, Japan refused entries from the United Kingdom to everyone, except for Japanese citizens and foreign long-term residents due to risks associated with the discovery of the new coronavirus strain. (ANI/Sputnik)