Japan to ban entry of non-Japanese from UK due to coronavirus mutation

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan said it will ban the entry of non-Japanese people from Britain from Thursday after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant, as daily infections hit a record high. Countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain on Monday due to fears about the new strain. 'The government will take border control steps flexibly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within the nation,' Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference as he announced the entry ban.

Reuters December 24, 2020 00:11:21 IST
Japan to ban entry of non-Japanese from UK due to coronavirus mutation

coronavirus mutation" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/12-2020/24/2020-12-23T045907Z_1_LYNXMPEGBM08T_RTROPTP_2_JAPAN-AIRLINES-NARITA.jpg" alt="Japan to ban entry of nonJapanese from UK due to coronavirus mutation" width="300" height="225" />

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan said it will ban the entry of non-Japanese people from Britain from Thursday after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant, as daily infections hit a record high.

Countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain on Monday due to fears about the new strain.

"The government will take border control steps flexibly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within the nation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference as he announced the entry ban.

The government will ask people including long-term foreign residents to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return from Britain.

From next week, Japanese coming from Britain would be asked to submit a certificate to confirm they had tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure.

The infectious coronavirus variant spreading in Britain has not so far been detected in Japan, said Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

The government decision comes when Japan is awash with a third wave of coronavirus infection.

Daily cases and fatalities both exceeded previous records on Wednesday to reach 3,271 and 56, respectively, according to public broadcaster NHK.

"Frontline medical workers, who have been working desperately, are exhausted," said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who coordinates government measures against the pandemic.

"I am getting reports that it is getting difficult to juggle responses to the coronavirus and offering regular medical care."

Shigeru Omi, chair of a government panel on coronavirus responses, said restaurants' opening hours need to be shortened further in Tokyo to curb the spread of the infection.

"It is necessary to thoroughly push down the risk of getting infected through eating and drinking together by such measures as requesting restaurants to cut their opening hours further," Omi said.

"Infection is now seeping out from Tokyo and surrounding regions. It is hard to curb infection in rural Japan unless infection in big cities is brought under control."

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is already asking restaurants to close at 10:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, new cases totalled 748 in Tokyo, second only to 821 reported last Thursday.

In another step to slow coronavirus infection, the central government on Wednesday requested the TMG that the number of spectators at a big sport or music event at a venue with capacity exceeding 10,000 people be limited to 5,000 till Jan. 11.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Stephen Coates, Shri Navaratnam and Chizu Nomiyama)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Women should decide whether to legalize abortion, Mexican president says
World

Women should decide whether to legalize abortion, Mexican president says

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's president said on Thursday that women should decide whether the country should legalize abortion, but he declined to take a position on the issue, which is still opposed by many Mexicans.

Islamic state claims responsibility for Wednesday's Syria bus attack
World

Islamic state claims responsibility for Wednesday's Syria bus attack

CAIRO - (Reuters) - Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for a bus attack in Syria the previous day, saying it had killed 40 Syrian army soldiers and badly wounded six others. The statement was carried by Islamic State's Amaq news agency. Syrian state media said on Wednesday that 28 people had died in an attack on a bus along a main highway in Syria's Deir Zor province that borders Iraq.

BTS wraps up record-breaking year with New Year's Eve online concert
World

BTS wraps up record-breaking year with New Year's Eve online concert

By Joyce Lee GOYANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Global K-Pop sensation BTS celebrated New Year's Eve with an online concert on Thursday along with other K-pop groups from its management agency Big Hit Entertainment and fans from around the world. Halsey, Lauv and Steve Aoki, who have all collaborated with BTS in recent years, joined on a special stage by connecting remotely.