Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2
- The administration of President Joe Biden said Thursday it will strengthen coronavirus testing rules for those entering the United States amid concerns over the new Omicron variant, requiring international travelers to return a negative result within one day of their scheduled departure.
- The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final featuring the top-six points-earners in each discipline will be canceled due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.
- The Japanese government said Thursday it has withdrawn its request for airlines to completely stop taking reservations for inbound international flights this month in the wake of criticism the measure against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus goes too far.
- Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday admitted his government's restrictions on re-entry by Japanese citizens and foreign residents in response to the spread of the Omicron variant overseas had caused public confusion, suggesting the measures would be reviewed.
- The United States said Wednesday it has confirmed its first case of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, joining a growing number of countries that have detected the strain most recently deemed a concern in the ongoing pandemic.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1
- The Japanese government has scrapped its plan to send former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a special envoy to Malaysia this month amid mounting concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a person familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
- All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. said Wednesday they have stopped accepting reservations for inbound international flights to Japan in line with a government request to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
- Japan confirmed its second case of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the top government spokesman said, as the country announced it will deny entry to all foreigners from 10 African countries feared to have outbreaks of the strain.
- Japan on Wednesday started administering COVID-19 booster shots to individuals who received their second shot at least eight months ago amid growing concerns about the spread of a new coronavirus variant.
- South Korea reported Wednesday that its daily coronavirus case count surpassed 5,000 for the first time, with concerns growing over the Omicron virus variant that is suspected to have already arrived in the country.
- The confirmation of the first case of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Japan on Tuesday has rekindled anxiety among businesses over an economic downturn, as the threat of restrictions looms close once again.
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)