Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)–The government will ban the re-entry of foreigners with residency status in Japan arriving from South Africa and nine other African countries in principle, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Wednesday.
The measure will be in place for the time being from Thursday. Amid the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, Japan will tighten its border controls again after banning entry in principle by foreigners coming from anywhere in the world, effective from Tuesday.
The current ban allows the entry of foreign nationals under special circumstances as exceptions. Those eligible are foreigners with residency status in Japan, foreign spouses and children of Japanese nationals or foreigners with permanent residency status in Japan, foreign diplomats and other people in public service, foreigners requiring humanitarian consideration and foreign people considered to serve the public interest.
This time, the government decided to basically reject re-entry by foreign nationals with residency status in Japan arriving from the 10 countries, also including Angola, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho.
Japan will also limit entry by foreigners under special circumstances in general. Matsuno said, “We’ll operate (the system) more strictly, including by limiting (entry) to those with a real need to enter.”
The government has already stopped accepting new entry by government-sponsored foreign students and participants in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, usually treated as people considered to serve the public interest.
The government will consider how to treat foreign athletes slated to participate in international sports events in Japan, including the International Skating Union’s figure skating Grand Prix Final in Osaka from Dec. 8.
Starting Thursday, the government will newly require all arrivals from Sweden, Spain, Nigeria and Portugal to be quarantined at government-designated facilities in response to the spread of the omicron strain.
South Korea, parts of Canada, Switzerland and the French island territory of Reunion will be added to the list on Friday. As a result, the number of countries and regions requiring such quarantine will rise to 31.