Japan will halt all new non-resident foreign arrivals from overseas until late January, as the country reported its first cases of a new strain of the coronavirus.
Japan currently restricts entry for foreigners from most countries over fears of the virus, requiring all visitors to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Tokyo now plans to strengthen those requirements: Japanese travelers and foreign residents from countries where the new virus strain has been reported must take tests within 72 hours ahead of their departure for the country and again upon arrival at Japanese airports.
It will also strengthen quarantine requirements on all travelers returning to Japan.
The move was part of efforts to stave off the spread of a new Covid-19 variant, believed to be up to 70 percent more infectious.
Foreign visitors with visas will be allowed to enter, with the exception of those who had visited the UK or South Africa — two of the countries where the strain has been detected.