Australia has suspended plans to open borders to some foreigners due to concerns about Omicron Covid variation.
The Australian government has previously decided to welcome fully vaccinated skilled migrants and international students entry from 1 December.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a two-week delay after Omicron’s opening was “necessary”.
A heavily mutated mutation was found in South Africa earlier this month, and initial findings suggest a higher risk of reinfection.
This prompted the UK, the European Union and the US to ban travel to the South African country, a decision criticized by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Japan announced on Monday that the World Health Organization (WHO) is barring all foreign nationals from entering the country due to an option it has said is of high risk worldwide.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida did not say how long the measures would last, but said he was prepared to face criticism from reporters for being overly cautious.
Kishida said, “We are temporarily taking exceptional security measures until we have more clear information about the Omicron option.” There are no confirmed cases in Japan yet.
Five omricon infections has been detected among the travellers who had just arrived to the country but there is no any notice to restart any restrictions.
Until recently, the country had one of the most stringent border policies in the world, banning even its own citizens from leaving the country, following a strategy sometimes referred to as an “Australian Fortress”.
This policy has been praised for helping control the coronavirus, but it has also resulted in separated families.
The measure was only eased in November of this year, giving vaccinated citizens and their relatives the long-awaited freedom. Permanent residents and vaccinated travelers from New Zealand and Singapore may enter Australia in accordance with current regulations.
Added to the list of entry permits for Japanese and Korean citizens and visa holders who have completed vaccination under the planned simplification of regulations on December 1st.
However, the Australian National Security Committee said a pause was necessary because it could consider issues such as “vaccine efficacy” and the impact of options.