The virus variant recently discovered in the UK/South Africa has been confirmed in Japan. And a new virus strain was found in Japan. Because of this and the continuing spike in the number of new cases in Japan, the Japanese government announced some new changes to the entry restrictions effective today until January 31.
Business people from the following 11 countries are still allowed to enter Japan: Australia, Brunei, China Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Business people from other countries are still allowed to enter, but must show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure and test negative upon arriving in Japan. And they will have to quarantine for 14 days after arrival in Japan. Anyone visiting the UK or South Africa within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Japan.
Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status will be allowed to enter Japan. If they have visited the UK or South Africa within the last 14 days, they will be required to prove a negative test withing 72 hours of departure to Japan, test negative upon arrival, quarantine for 3 days at a designated location and then quarantine at home for 11 days.
For those Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status who have not visited the UK and South Africa, they will have to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure for Japan, test negative upon arrival in Japan and are not allowed to use public transportation for 14 days.
In the last couple of weeks, the number of new daily cases has set a number of records. The Japanese government has issued a state of emergency for the Kanto region (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures) and the Kansai region (Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures). These states of emergency will be in effect until February 7.
65 Sumo wrestlers are not able to participate in the January Sumo tournament in Tokyo due to COVID. Five of them have tested positive, and the other 60 were in close contact with other people who tested positve.
In recent surveys, 67% of the people in Japan said they fear the social stigma of getting COVID more than getting COVID itself. 80% of the people in stated they think the 2021 Summer Olympics should either be postponed again or cancelled altogether. But the Japanese government has reiterated again that the Olympics will be held.
The number of new cases has been increasing for the last 2 months or so, and the government has announced that Japan is currently in a third wave (see the illustration below). The government announced the number of serious cases in Japanese hospitals has reached record levels. They are concerned that the hospitals may become full if conditions get much more serious and the wave continues. Tokyo and the 3 surrounding prefectures are thinking of invoking a state of emergency due to the high number of virus cases.
As of January 12
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