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Japan to bar entry of foreigners from India, Nepal, Pakistan

In this Feb. 24, 2021, file photo, people walk past posters to promote the Olympic Games scheduled to start in the summer in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government said Wednesday it will bar the entry of foreign nationals who have been in India, Nepal or Pakistan in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Japan, amid the spread of more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus.

    The measure, effective Friday, comes as India continues to struggle with a surge of infections due to coronavirus variants, sparking fears they may have spread to neighboring countries such as Nepal and Pakistan.

    Permanent residents and their families, as well as the spouses or children of Japanese nationals who leave Japan by Thursday with re-entry permission will be exempted from the measure.

    Foreign nationals with special permanent resident status will also be exempted from the entry ban covering the three South Asian countries.

    At present, Japanese nationals and foreign residents arriving from about 35 countries and regions, including India, Nepal and Pakistan, are required to submit proof of negative COVID-19 tests taken before, upon and after arrival.

    People arriving from the three countries are also required to quarantine for six days at designated facilities, while those arriving from the rest of the listed countries and regions are required to do so for three days.

    India on Wednesday reported a record 4,205 COVID-19 deaths over a one-day period, bringing its total fatalities from coronavirus infections to 254,197, the third most in the world after the United States and Brazil.

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