Internal Affairs

Japan Requests Airlines To Halt Bookings For Incoming Flights Over Omicron Fears

TOKYO, Dec 2 (NNN-NHK) – Japan’s transportation ministry, yesterday, requested airlines to stop bookings for incoming flights to Japan for one month, as fears are growing among the people, over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, people with existing bookings will still be able to fly into Japan.

The decision came, after a second case of the Omicron variant was reported in the country. The strain was detected in a man, in his 20s, who arrived from Peru at Narita Airport on Saturday.

Earlier yesterday, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, announced, the government would ban all foreign travellers from South Africa and nine other African nations, effective today, including foreign residents, returning to the country.

Japanese citizens are allowed to return from those 10 countries, but they will be required to isolate at a government-designated facility for 10 days.

“We will work quickly to gain more knowledge of the situation in each country, and to respond accordingly,” Matsuno said.

Japan lifted some of its travel restrictions at the beginning of Nov, permitting foreign students, foreign technical interns and business travellers to enter the country. But the newly detected Omicron variant triggered a series of border measures by countries all over the world.

Although research into the transmissibility and nature of the Omicron is still in the early stages, the unprecedented number of mutations in the new variant suggests the possibility that, it could spread further and faster, even than the highly contagious Delta variant.