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Japan closes borders due to new variant

Japan will close its borders to international arrivals from 30 November – just weeks after the country relaxed the entry rules that had been in place since the start of the pandemic.

The border closure comes as the country reacts to the growing threat of the new Omicron variant that was detected last week.

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said: “We will ban the new entry of foreigners from around the world starting from November 30th.”

Earlier this month, Japan relaxed its entry rules for short-term business visitors, students and workers.

The country has recorded around 18,300 deaths from the virus while avoiding stringent domestic lockdowns. Just over three-quarters of the population has been vaccinated.

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