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Japan requests airlines to stop taking new inbound international flight reservations

Super Admin 39 December 1, 2021
Police officers patrol an empty check-in area in a departure hall at Narita Airport in Japan on November 30.
Police officers patrol an empty check-in area in a departure hall at Narita Airport in Japan on November 30. (Toru Hanai/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has requested airlines suspend taking new reservations on all inbound international flights to the country until the end of December, in response to the Omicron variant.

The request has been made to all airlines -- including Japanese and international airlines operating in Japan -- but at this time is not a mandate, a ministry official told CNN. 

The ministry has requested this apply to all travelers, including Japanese citizens, beginning Wednesday.

CNN is reaching out to airlines operating in Japan for a response, but has not yet heard back. 

Last month Japan began the process of rolling back some of its more stringent travel restrictions. However, on Monday it moved to close its borders to all foreign nationals in light of the new risk posed by Omicron.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the new measures would be temporarily until more information is known about the new variant. 

Japan confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant on Tuesday. The variant was detected in a man in his 30s who traveled from Namibia to Tokyo. The man is now in quarantine at a government designated facility and his close contacts have been traced, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters Tuesday.