TOKYO: The Japanese government is planning to strengthen its border controls for travelers from South Africa and five other African nations, following the discovery of a new novel coronavirus variant in the area, JIJI Press learned Friday.
The five other nations are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
Japanese nationals returning home or foreign nationals entering Japan will be required to quarantine at designated facilities for six days.
The new measure, to be announced later Friday at the earliest, will come into force on Monday.
On Thursday, Britain banned the entry of foreign nationals arriving from the six nations and temporarily suspended related flights.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference on Friday that Japan has not confirmed any cases of the new variant so far, including at airports.
“We are handling the matter with a sense of urgency,” the top government spokesman said. “We will also implement border control measures swiftly and appropriately.”