• Kyodo

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The government said Tuesday it will extend the quarantine period for travelers who have recently been to India and five other South Asian countries, from six days to 10 days, amid growing concerns over the India variant of the coronavirus.

The revision primarily affects Japanese citizens, as the government has already banned the entry of foreign nationals, including those with resident status, who have been to those countries within the past two weeks, except under special circumstances.

The quarantine measure, which also covers Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is set to take effect Friday.

Travelers who have been to any of those areas within 14 days of arriving in Japan will be required to stay in a designated facility for the mandatory 10 days, during which they will be tested for COVID-19 three times.

The government also said it will newly impose a three-day quarantine period on travelers who have recently been to Kazakhstan and Tunisia, with a coronavirus test on the final day.

“There is a strong feeling of unease among the Japanese people regarding coronavirus variants, so we have decided to further tighten border controls in order to protect their health and lives,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

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