Japan's major airlines have recently suspended bookings on flights to Japan from countries seeing an outbreak of coronavirus variants following the government's request to limit the number of inbound passengers, company officials said Wednesday.

All Nippon Airways Co. stopped taking reservations on all of its international flights arriving in Japan through March 21 and may extend the suspension if the outbreak of new variants drags on, they said.

File photo taken April 2020 shows passenger planes at Haneda airport in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

Japan Airlines Co. has suspended bookings on flights from Britain, France and Germany, the officials said. The suspension will remain in place until pandemic situations improve in those countries, they added.

The airlines stopped taking those bookings in response to the Japanese government's tightened border controls which have made travelers from 13 more countries including Austria and Italy subject to additional quarantine measures.

Earlier in the month, the government extended the COVID-19 state of emergency covering the Tokyo region by two weeks to March 21, from the initially planned end date of March 7.

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