Japan will keep its borders closed until March due to the advance of Ómicron

Japan will keep at least until February 28 the closure of its borders to foreigners, given the expansion of the Ómicron variant of coronavirus in the country, while it will accelerate the vaccination with the booster dose to contain the infections.

The Japanese government announced this Tuesday New measures to face the rebound in Covid-19 infections and the advance of the Ómicron variant in the archipelago, with the emphasis placed on the suspension of new income from foreigners.

To deal with this sixth wave of infections, Japan also plans to accelerate the inoculation of the booster dose, which so far has only reached 0.6% of the population (equivalent to 43,699 doses), according to the latest official data, compared to 78.4% that already received two doses.

The first Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced that the government will reopen a mass vaccination center to administer the third dose to the elderly population and accelerate, together with the Self-Defense Forces, the inoculation of the rest of the population from March.

The president also reported that Japan will expand, given the rapid expansion of the Omicron variant, ahead of schedule the vaccination of children under 12 years of age, still pending approval in the country.

Haneda airport in Tokyo will continue to receive no foreigners. Photo Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP

Japan experienced a drastic decrease in infections last October, which led to a semi-opening of the country after the strict closure applied since the beginning of the pandemic.

The country allowed the entry of foreigners for study or business reasons for a short period of time from October until the detection of the Omicron variant, which occurred on November 30.

The border restrictions, which have been criticized by the World Health Organization (WHO), will continue to apply at least until the end of February.

The eastern archipelago registered more than 8,000 daily infections last weekend and keeps Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Okinawa on alert ever since, three prefectures to the west and south of the country, where business hours have been limited.

Narita Airport, in eastern Tokyo, will continue to receive no foreign travelers. Photo Hiro Komae / AP Narita Airport, in eastern Tokyo, will continue to receive no foreign travelers. Photo Hiro Komae / AP

Okinawa prefecture suffers a strong spike in infections and expansion of the Omicron variant, with several outbreaks in US troops stationed in the territory.

Due to the high number of infected health workers in this prefecture in the southwest of the archipelago, the government has ordered the arrival of a dozen nurses from the Self-Defense Forces.

With information from EFE

By Editor

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