Japan reports cases of UK's COVID variant

·1-min read

Japan has confirmed its first cases of a new coronavirus variant identified in Britain.

Five people were sent into quarantine after their infections were confirmed upon their arrival from Britain between December 18 and December 21, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura told a news conference late on Friday.

A man in his 60s experienced fatigue while the other four had no symptoms, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The five arrived before Japan began on Thursday to impose a temporary ban on foreign visitors from Britain.

Currently only Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with resident status are allowed to enter the country. They must go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

Japan on Friday confirmed a record 3823 new infections, marking the highest daily increase for the third straight day.

The country has so far escaped a virus outbreak on the scale seen in Europe and the United States, with a total of more than 215,000 known infections and about 3200 COVID-19-related deaths.