The European Union said Thursday it has reinstated a travel ban from Japan following recent surges of novel coronavirus infections with the highly contagious Delta variant.
The EU removed Japan from a list of countries that are exempted from its ban on nonessential travel to the economic bloc. Japan was previously removed from the exemption list in January, before being added again in June as the EU eased restrictions ahead of summer vacation season.
With the fresh travel ban, visitors from Japan for nonessential purposes such as tourism will not be allowed to enter EU member countries in principle, though each country has authority over its own border control policy.
Among EU economies, Germany has already said it will restrict travelers from Japan, designating the country a high-risk area for COVID-19 infection.
In addition to Japan, the EU also removed Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei and Serbia from the exemption list.
EU authorities remain wary of potential spread of the Delta variant in its economic zone, although about 70 percent of the bloc's adult population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The United States was removed from the list in late August.