Under the light of day by day rising concerns of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Japanese government has asked the airlines of the country to take a halt on accepting new flight bookings to Japan. This announcement by the Japanese Transport Ministry after a second traveller from overseas tested positive for the new variant of Covid-19. The Japanese Transport Ministry has also informed that the request was not only limited to Japanese carriers but was also made to all the international airlines flying to Japan.
Important to Take Preventive Measures
The ministry also informed that since it is still too early and everyone is still assessing the dangers of the variant, the announcement is just a request and not a mandate. The recommendation from the government applies to all travellers whether from overseas or Japanese citizens and is effective from December 1, 2021.
Earlier, Japan had already taken strict preventive measures as they banned all the non-Japanese travellers from 12 South African countries where the spread of the virus has been reported to be higher. A spokesperson from the ministry of transport said on the issue that the airlines have been asked to stop taking new bookings for a period of one month starting from December 1. Moreover, as a part of preventive measures, Japan has already strengthened the already rigid quarantine rules for its citizens as well as travellers to protect the island country from the latest mutation of Covid-19.
In addition to this, the government has also announced booster jabs for those citizens who received their second vaccination dose 8 months ago or more. It is to be noted that around 77% of the country’s population is already vaccinated.
Two Test Positive with Omicron Variant
The new Omicron variant was first discovered by South African scientists on November 9 and was reported to the WHO on November 24. WHO in a statement said that the preliminary study on the variant suggests that it has increased chances of infection as compared to other concerning variants. Japan has already witnessed two cases of the Omicron variant. The first case was reported on Tuesday where a man who had arrived in the country from Namibia tested positive. The second case was reported today as a man who had arrived in the county in November from Peru has tested positive.