The Japanese government said Tuesday it will impose stricter restrictions for those who have been in Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka in the 14 days before arrival to prevent a more contagious coronavirus variant first found in India from spreading.

The tighter steps, to be effective in stages from Thursday, came as the three neighbors of India have seen surging infections due to the new coronavirus variant.

For the time being, Japan will newly ban the entry of foreigners who have stayed in Bangladesh and Maldives even if they hold resident status in Japan. Tokyo has already implemented such an entry ban on foreigners with resident status in the country who have stayed in India, Nepal and Pakistan, due to the spread of the variant.

Those given approval under special circumstances will be exempted from the steps, according to the Foreign Ministry.

They include permanent residents and their families as well as the spouses or children of Japanese nationals who leave Japan before Thursday with re-entry permission.

Japanese nationals who have been to the three countries and foreigners with resident status in Japan arriving after a visit to Sri Lanka will be required to stay at a designated facility upon landing for six days and get tested for coronavirus on the third day and the last day during that period.

Those who test negative are asked to remain in self-isolation at home or other location until 14 days pass after arrival.

The measures come on top of submission of negative test results taken within 72 hours prior to their departure and a test upon arrival.

Separately, Japan will ask all travelers from Greece and Jordan to undergo isolation at a designated facility for three days with a coronavirus test administered on the third day, effective from Friday.