COVID-19 clampdown: Japan closes borders to foreign nationals

Dec 26, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Borders are continuing to tighten around the world as governments respond to the threat of a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus.

Effective on Monday, Dec. 28, the Japanese government will bar most foreign nationals in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Entry bans were already in place for international travelers from more than 150 countries all over the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom.

The latest move, which will last until at least the end of January, simply builds upon the nation’s already strict entry requirements, and even Japanese nationals and foreigners with residency returning from short business trips, according to Bloomberg, must now comply with a 14-day quarantine, along with multiple COVID-19 tests.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Japan, once a glowing example of successful pandemic control, is now experiencing its highest-ever number of COVID-19 cases. And the highly infectious coronavirus variant has already been confirmed in Japan. In Tokyo, nearly 950 new cases were recorded on Saturday — a grim record for the island nation.

It’s a discouraging turn for Japan, which was widely reported to be planning to welcome back international travelers in the spring in preparation for the rescheduled Summer Olympics.

Related: A country-by-country guide to visiting Asia

Countries around the world have turned to new border restrictions, increased testing and enhanced screening measures in a last-ditch effort to contain the new coronavirus strain, which was first identified in England in September. In the U.S., travelers from the U.K. must now provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before departure.

But experts fear the precautions may be far too late. In addition to Japan, Bloomberg reported that the new strain — which is thought to be 70% more transmissible — has already been reported in France, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland and Sweden, among others.

Feature image by Kyodo News / Contributor / Getty Images. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.