The Japanese government will, in principle, ban new entry of all foreigners, including Korea, from tomorrow (30th).

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced today that as a measure to prevent the inflow of Omicron, a new mutant of COVID-19, entry restrictions have been strengthened.

He explained that this is a temporary measure until some information about Omicron is revealed.

In addition, for Japanese returnees, in addition to nine countries including South Africa where the new mutation was first discovered, strict quarantine measures will be implemented even if they come from 14 countries and regions where the new mutation has been confirmed.

Earlier, as concerns about the influx of Omicron grew, the Japanese government banned the entry of foreigners from nine African countries, including South Africa, from 0 am on the 28th, and Japanese returning and re-entrying foreigners from these countries were placed in quarantine facilities for 10 days. I was asked to wait for quarantine.

The Japanese government has decided to go one step further and expand the target of new entry bans to the entire world, and significantly strengthen quarantine and quarantine for its own citizens, mainly in areas where Omicron infection has been confirmed.

As a result, the entry way for foreigners, such as business travelers and international students, was blocked again from the 8th.

However, the Japanese government plans to continue to allow entry to foreigners with special circumstances on a limited basis.

Special circumstances are recognized for those who have Japanese spouses, diplomats, people in the public interest, or people in need of humanitarian consideration.

The Japanese government, which has been de facto barring foreigners from entering the country in order to block the arrival of those infected with COVID-19, has been in principle under the condition that companies or universities accepting them manage the behavior of short-term residents for business purposes, technical trainees, and international students since the 8th. New entry, which had been suspended due to , was allowed.

Since then, the daily entry limit has been increased from 3,500 to 5,000.

The Japanese government has recently eased restrictions on entry for foreigners as the number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Korea has decreased significantly, and voices from all walks of life have grown demanding easing of regulations.

However, as the new mutation, Omicron, whose identity has not yet been clearly identified, first appeared in South Africa and showed signs of spreading to other parts of the world, we took out ultra-strength quarantine measures to preemptively block the entry of foreigners again.

Meanwhile, Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases has designated Omicron as a 'mutant of concern' with the highest alert level.

(Photo = Getty Images Korea)