Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4
- Japan's transport ministry has asked each air carrier to submit data every day on bookings for inbound international flights as the country steps up efforts to keep out the Omicron coronavirus variant, sources with knowledge of the situation said Saturday.
- India, Greece and Romania, as well as four U.S. states, will be added Sunday to Japan's list of places from which returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents will be subject to stricter quarantine requirements as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- Japan is entering its end-of-year party season with most COVID-19 restrictions lifted based on low numbers of cases, but concerns about the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant are likely to keep the festive mood restrained once again.
- Nasser Al-Khater, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, said he anticipates his nation's COVID-19 preparedness and lessons learned from this summer's Tokyo Olympics will allow soccer's premier event to take place with packed stadiums.
- Japan's transport ministry said Friday domestic airlines will resume taking inbound international flight bookings from the next day, enabling returnees and expatriates to travel back to the country after the reversal of an initial travel blanket ban to prevent the Omicron coronavirus variant spread.
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3
- Japan's NEC Corp. will start the full-scale introduction of a vaccination certification system for COVID-19 based on facial recognition, eliminating any use of smartphone applications or documents, officials at the technology firm said Friday.
- The Japanese arm of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. said Friday it has applied for state approval for the production and sale of an oral COVID-19 drug, which if granted could be the first such pill to be used in Japan.
- New Zealand's largest city of Auckland exited a three-month lockdown on Friday, marking the country's transition to a new coronavirus response that seeks to manage virus circulation in the community.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Health ministry call center
COVID-19: 0120-565-653 (toll free)
COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770 (toll free)
-Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; for Thai 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for Vietnamese 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Health ministry's COVID-19 Vaccine Navigation website
- AMDA Medical Information Center's "Multilingual Consultation Service"
- Available in Simple Japanese and English, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's COVID-19 info
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government hotline
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (including weekends and holidays)
- Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- Japan National Tourism Organization's "Guide for when you are feeling ill"
- Multilingual clinic/hospital search available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- JNTO's "Japan Visitor Hotline"
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day
+81-50-3816-2787 (from overseas)