Japan to ban entry of non-citizens coming from the UK over new COVID-19 virus strain

Japan to ban entry of non-citizens coming from the UK over new COVID-19 virus strain

Ground crew staff wearing protective face masks walk past the departure zone of Narita internationa
FILOE PHOTO: Ground crew staff wearing protective face masks walk past the departure zone of Narita international airport, where there are fewer passengers than usual amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan Nov 2, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato)

TOKYO: Japan will ban the entry of non-citizens flying from the United Kingdom from Thursday (Dec 24), following the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, a top government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Several parts of the world 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.

"We request people to refrain from making short visits to the UK."

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

READ: AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine should be effective against new UK variant

From next week, Japanese nationals 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.

Kato also said that the government was gathering information and analysing the impact from the coronavirus mutation in the UK and the UK-EU trade talks on Japanese companies.

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Source: Reuters/kv

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