Israel, Japan banning entry to foreigners as Fauci urges caution over new variant

“This is a clarion call ... saying let’s put aside all of these differences that we have and say, ‘If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated,’” top health expert says.

Travelers wearing protective face masks arrive to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Israel on Sunday approved barring entry to foreign nationals and the use of controversial technology for contact tracing as part of its efforts to clamp down on a new coronavirus variant. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) (Ariel Schalit, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Israel on Sunday became the first country to ban the entry of all foreigners as the world races to understand and contain the worrying new variant of Covid-19 that was identified in southern Africa. The government also promised to use controversial phone-tracking technology to track and find cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, followed suit Monday by reestablishing entry restrictions for foreign travelers in order to “avoid the worst-case scenario,” he said. The restrictions, relaxed earlier in the month, will return Tuesday, Kishida said during a press conference.

The Moroccan government said it would prohibit direct flights to the kingdom starting late Monday.

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