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Asia tightens borders as Omicron clouds region’s return to travel | Coronavirus pandemic

Hwaseong, South Korea – Asia-Pacific countries are tightening borders and delaying reopening plans in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant, dealing a blow to the region’s already sluggish resumption of international travel.

Japan on Monday announced the country would bar foreign arrivals from Tuesday, only weeks after easing restrictions for visa holders including short-term business travellers and international students.

Australia followed the announcement on Monday by deferring plans to allow migrants and international students into the country from Wednesday until December 15, plunging into uncertainty the country’s emergence from one of the longest periods of international isolation.

The moves come after the Philippines on Sunday barred arrivals from seven European countries – including the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy – and Singapore deferred the opening of quarantine-free “travel lanes” with United Arab…

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