The Japanese Government has announced that foreign travellers will not be permitted to enter the country until at least the end of January due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the nation due to host the next Olympics and Paralympics.
The new measure is set to start today and will continue throughout January.
It follows a record daily increase in new coronavirus cases – including at least two of a new, faster-spreading strain of the virus.
Japan reported in excess of 3,500 new cases yesterday.
A further 50 deaths were reported as well.
As Japan tightens its border, citizens and foreign residents will be required to quarantine for two weeks upon returning to the country and must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure for Japan.
They will also be tested upon arrival.
Digital Transformation Minister Takuya Hirai has also spoken of a tracking system for overseas travellers being developed to monitor virus spread, with the system expected to be in place before the Olympics and Paralympics are held.
“There will be no point if we do not implement it, so that you will be allowed to enter the country unless you use it,” Hirai said, Kyodo News reports.
Hirai suggested that tracking will be delivered through GPS technology.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are currently scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, having been postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Paralympics are due to take place from August 24 to September 5.
With coronavrius cases rising in the host nation and across other parts of the world, notably Europe and the Americas, doubts remain over whether the Games will be able to go ahead – and if they do, whether international visitors or even domestic spectators will be allowed to attend events.