Japan To Tighten Border Controls For Travelers From Vietnam And Malaysia

  • Category:Tourism

Japan plans to tighten its border controls to prevent the spread of more contagious variants of the coronavirus, asking travelers from Vietnam and Malaysia to stay in government-designated facilities for six days after arrival, according to government sources.

It will also set the quarantine period at such facilities at 10 days for travelers from Afghanistan and three days for those from Thailand and some U.S. states, the sources said Monday.

Japan has already imposed a travel ban on 159 countries and regions, restricting entry of foreign nationals, including those with resident status, who have been to those countries within the past two weeks, except under special circumstances. The tightened border controls will mostly affect Japanese citizens returning to Japan.

The government is on high alert for a coronavirus variant identified in Vietnam.

Vietnamese health minister Nguyen Thanh Long has said that the Vietnamese variant is extremely dangerous as it is a hybrid of strains first found in Britain and India.

Japan is rushing to collect information and analyze the variant through cooperation with the World Health Organization and others.

At a news conference Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that Japan has not confirmed any domestic case of the Vietnamese variant.

The government has been criticized for failing to tighten border controls quickly enough to prevent the British and Indian variants from entering Japan.

Kato said the government will take necessary countermeasures in a timely way to dispel the public’s concerns.

The COVID-19 state of emergency entered an extended period in nine prefectures Tuesday. The focus is whether Japan will be able to reduce new infection cases and improve the medical system situation before June 20, when the emergency is now set to expire in the nine prefectures as well as Okinawa Prefecture.

“The government will continue taking countermeasures thoroughly to curb new infections across the country,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told an executive meeting of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday.

“The government will continue its support for restaurants and people affected by the state of emergency to protect businesses and jobs,” he added, resolved to do the utmost to shore up the economy.

The emergency, the third of its kind in the country, was previously set to expire on Monday in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima and Fukuoka prefectures.


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