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Coronavirus

Japan seeks longer COVID quarantines for Indian arrivals

Government weighs six-day stay at designated facilities to keep new variants at bay

People at at India's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport after flights from the U.K. were canceled. Now travelers from the South Asian nation will face tougher entry restrictions in Japan.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is considering stricter travel restrictions for incoming travelers from India as new cases swamp the South Asian country, Nikkei has learned.

The government looks to extend the self-quarantine period required for those travelers to six days, aiming to keep out a coronavirus variant thought to be highly infectious.

Since April 28, Japan has required arrivals from India and certain other coronavirus hot spots to self-quarantine at government-designated facilities for three days. They can leave the facilities afterward if they test negative but must remain isolated at home or elsewhere until after 14 days from their arrival in Japan.

India has logged over 300,000 new COVID-19 cases a day of late, and its health care sector is struggling with acute shortages of oxygen and hospital beds. The U.S. has banned most travel from India as multiple variants drive infections there.

Japan is particularly concerned about those variants. A highly contagious variant initially identified in the U.K. is considered a key factor behind the recent increase in infections in the greater Osaka region.

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