New COVID-19 variant prompts Japan to tighten border controls on three more African nations


The central government said Saturday that it will tighten border controls for arrivals from three more countries in connection with the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa.

Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia will be added to the list of countries subject to tightened border controls, effective midnight Saturday. The addition will expand the number of countries on the list to nine.

“The government is responding with a strong sense of urgency. We’ll do enough to control borders,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in Tokyo.

Travelers from the listed countries, including Japanese citizens, are required to quarantine at designated facilities for 10 days.

The six other countries are South Africa, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho. Those nations were placed on the list at midnight Friday following the discovery of the omicron variant.

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