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COVID-19 clampdown: Japan closes borders to foreign nationals

Dec. 26, 2020
2 min read
COVID-19 clampdown: Japan closes borders to foreign nationals
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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.

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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.

Featured image by Kyodo News via Getty Images

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases