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Japan backs down the suspension of international flight reservations due to the arrival of omicron

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 led by Fumio Kishida said the day before that he 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 “revision“Of that measure to take into account”the requests to be able 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 arriving in Japan until the end of December.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of the detection of the new variant last week and classified it as “worrying”, The Japanese government has taken a series of border measures that have progressively increased the shielding of its borders.

Japan completely prohibits entry to the country from dozens of 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 the 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 mean that only Japanese citizens and foreign residents (except those traveling from the “blacklist”From countries) can enter the country.

Border restrictions targeting only a 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 for their lack of scientific rigor, in addition to discouraging national authorities to report new variants, among other reasons.


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