The emergence of Omicron, a new mutant of Corona 19, has put an emergency around the world, and Asian countries' movements to ease quarantine regulations have also been put to a halt.

So far, the number of confirmed cases of Omicron infection in Asia is small, with three cases in Hong Kong and five cases in Australia.

Japan has banned all foreigners from entering the country from today (30th) until the end of this year.

The borders that had been opened on a limited basis from the 8th of this month to business travelers and international students were abolished in just 20 days and the doors were locked again.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida announced the decision to close the border, saying it was "an emergency and precautionary measure to avoid the worst case scenario."

He emphasized that this decision is a temporary measure until the risk of Omicron is specifically assessed.

The Australian government also held an emergency security meeting and postponed the opening of the border, scheduled for the 1st of next month.

Australia, which has controlled borders for foreigners for over 20 months to prevent the spread of COVID-19, was scheduled to allow entry of technicians, students, and Korean and Japanese nationals who have completed vaccinations from the 1st of next month. As I left, the plan went awry.

The same is true of Southeast Asian countries that have been active in opening their doors due to their high dependence on the tourism industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal and Antara News, Indonesia, which allowed foreign nationals to enter the country for tourism purposes in the middle of last month, has extended the quarantine period for foreigners from 3 days to 7 days starting today.

In particular, we have established a policy that will not allow entry to South Africa, neighboring countries, and those who have visited Hong Kong for less than 14 days, where Omicron confirmed.

The Thai government is also restricting entry from eight African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, from the 1st of next month.

Singapore has banned entry and transit from the 28th for those who have visited seven African countries, including South Africa, for less than 14 days, and also decided to postpone the policy of allowing entry without quarantine to three Middle Eastern countries, including the United Arab Emirates.

(Photo = Getty Images Korea)