Japan may continue tough virus border restrictions

NHK -- Dec 17
The Japanese government may continue its tough border restrictions next month and beyond to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Japan has basically banned the new entries, in principle, on non-resident foreigners since November 30. The measure was originally planned to be implemented for a month. Japanese nationals and others returning from abroad are also required to quarantine at government-designated facilities upon arrival.

A government official told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday that they are striving to gather epidemiological knowledge about the Omicron variant but have yet to fully grasp the situation. The official added that they have to brace for the possible spread of infections.

The official indicated that keeping the current border restrictions in place next month and beyond may be an option.

The official also said the government will step up monitoring of the Omicron variant by conducting more PCR tests and genomic analysis.