Japan, due to increasing tensions amidst the pandemic, will ban entry from all countries effective from Monday to prevent the spread of the more contagious UK strain of the coronavirus.
The ban will effect from Monday until the end of January. Only Japanese nationals and foreigners living in Japan will be permitted to return to the country.
The government said it decided to take the measure as the variant of the virus is spreading in several countries.
However, Tokyo has reported 949 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as authorities urged residents to stay home.
According to officials, two more people in Japan had been confirmed as infected with the new virus strain, bringing the total so far to seven.
The two latest patients are a pilot in his 30s who returned to Japan from Britain on Dec 16 and a woman in her 20s, one of his family members, with no history of visiting the country, the health ministry said.
According to the ministry, three people had close contact with the pair and one of them tested negative, while the status of the other two is unknown.
Confirmed Cases, Death Toll in Japan
Japan confirmed 3,881 coronavirus cases nationwide on Saturday, also a record daily tally for the fourth straight day, and 46 deaths as Tokyo and several other prefectures reported the highest numbers of infections at the start of the year-end holidays.
The country’s cumulative total now stands at 219,070.