The Government of Japan reversed this Thursday to the suspension of all new reservations for international flights arriving in its territory until the end of the month, just one day after announcing this measure.
The Executive who leads Fumio Kishida pointed out on Wednesday that had asked all airlines operating in the country to cancel the sale of new flights to Japan until the end of December, the last of his measures aimed at trying to stop the arrival of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus to the archipelago.
However, this Thursday, Kishida himself said that he had asked the Ministry of Transport for the “Review” of that measure to take into account “requests to return to the country of Japanese citizens who are abroad”, and admitted that the restriction “had caused confusion”, in statements to the media.
The spokesman for the Executive, Hirokazu Matsuno, later confirmed at a press conference that airlines will be able to offer flights to Japan again until the end of December.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of the detection of the new variant last week and described it as “worrying”, the Japanese Government has taken a succession of border measures that have progressively increased the shielding of their borders.
Japan completely prohibits entry to the country from a dozen African countries where it considers that the new variant is widespread, and applies special quarantine conditions to travelers from about thirty countries where the virus has already been detected.
These measures are in addition to closure of borders for tourism and for travelers with short or medium-term visas that Japan has already applied for months due to the pandemic, and in practice they assume that only Japanese citizens and foreign residents (except those who travel from the “black list” of countries) can enter the country.
Border restrictions targeting only one group of countries or discriminating against travelers based on their nationality, such as those applied by Japan, have been criticized by the WHO in recent days due to its lack of scientific rigor, in addition to discouraging national authorities from reporting new variants, among other reasons.
(With information from EFE)
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