Japan on Thursday eased the requirement it made to airlines to suspend new flight reservations to the country, and allowed its citizens to return, a day after announcing the general suspension in order to contain the omicron variant of coronavirus covid-19.
The transport ministry had said on Wednesday that it asked airlines not to accept bookings for flights to Japan for a month, an unexpected measure that affected its citizens and resident foreigners.
But on Thursday, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said the measure was being modified.
“This request caused confusion among those affected, so the Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Transportation to examine the issue and consider the needs of Japanese citizens who wish to return home.”he told reporters.
As a result, the ministry “He asked the airlines to cancel the general suspension of new reservations for international flights in order to serve the Japanese who want to return home”, added.
Japan has maintained tough border restrictions throughout the US pandemic. covid-19, by preventing almost all the arrivals of foreigners.
It began to ease the rules a bit in October to allow the entry of some students and businessmen, but reversed the measure before the emergence of the omicron variant.
It also totally banned the entry of foreigners from 10 southern African countries.
Currently, those who reach Japan They will be quarantined for 14 days at home, and those who return from a list of dozens of sites considered higher risk, will have to spend three to 10 of those 14 days of quarantine in a facility designated by the government.
About 77% of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated and booster doses began on Wednesday.