Japan will ban foreign citizens from entering the country, reversing a relaxation of its three-week-old rules, as Tokyo reacts to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the decision on Monday, which will take effect at midnight Tuesday.

“We are running the Omicron variant with a strong sense of crisis,” Kishida told reporters. “It seems to be spreading around the world, so we continue to seek to further strengthen our border control measures. “

The new ban covers foreign students, interns and workers moving to Japan, and business travelers on short trips. As part of the easing announced three weeks ago, vaccinated business travelers could visit Japan with just a three-day quarantine.

Japanese nationals returning from South Africa, neighboring countries and other countries with cases of Omicron should be quarantined at government-controlled facilities, Kishida said.

Traders in Tokyo said that despite news from Omicron over the weekend, the Tokyo morning session was relatively positive, with a reduced opening drop before lunch break as NY futures continued to climb. negotiate positively.

However, headlines about Japan’s news policies on foreign arrivals took a heavy toll on morale, causing previously trading stocks to fall higher amid expectations of a gradual return to the tourism market.

Shares of Japan Air Terminals and several major rail companies fell sharply.

“Japan had just started opening up to short-term visitors and it looks like a step backwards,” said Takeo Kamai, head of fulfillment services at CLSA. “There is a lot of uncertainty and the Tokyo market is always going to trade conservatively at a time like this.”