TOKYO: Japan will maintain for the time being its current ban on foreigners newly entering the country, as a measure against the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.
“We’ve decided to extend (the ban) for the time being and will closely watch the (infection) situation in the year-end and New Year period,” Kishida told a press conference that marked the end of an extraordinary parliamentary session through the day.
Kishida also said that people who have had close contact with omicron variant cases will be asked to be isolated at accommodation facilities for 14 days.
The prime minister vowed to make preparations to make U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.’s oral drug for COVID-19 patients available in Japan “early next year.”
Also at the press conference, Kishida said the government will implement a 3 pct hike in salaries for workers at nursing care, child care and child education facilities on a permanent basis in February.
Meanwhile, Kishida expressed his eagerness to “actively promote summit-level diplomacy next year,” aiming to “elevate (Japan-US) cooperation to a new level” toward realizing the government’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision.
On the government’s controversial stockpile of cloth face masks, the prime minister said he has issued an instruction to discard them by the end of the current fiscal year.