Tokyo – Japanese government officials said on Friday that Japan has confirmed the first case of a novel coronavirus spreading in the UK.
The Ministry of Health said five people who tested positive for the new strain were under 70 and had travel experience to the UK. Four asymptomatic.
Two-fifths arrived at Tokyo Haneda Airport, and the rest landed at Kansai Airport in Osaka Prefecture in western Japan.
Last weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that this new variant of the coronavirus appears to be spread more easily than previous variants and is spreading rapidly in England. But Johnson emphasized: “There is no evidence that it is more lethal or cause more serious disease,” or that the vaccine will be ineffective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday night that the United States will now require airline passengers from the United Kingdom to undergo a negative COVID-19 test before flying.
As new variants of the coronavirus are spreading in the UK and elsewhere, the US is the latest country to announce new travel restrictions.
U.S. requires British passengers to undergo negative tests
Since the wording of the new variant of the virus was made public, Britain has been under tremendous pressure. About 40 countries have imposed travel bans on the United Kingdom, making the island nation increasingly isolated.
After a two-day stalemate, France on Tuesday eased the ban on British trucks related to the coronavirus. The stalemate has left thousands of drivers in trouble and raised concerns about food shortages in the UK during Christmas.
French authorities say that delivery drivers can enter by ferry or tunnel as long as they show evidence of a negative test for the virus.
But France’s restrictions are particularly worrisome because the United Kingdom relies heavily on its cross-channel commercial links with continental Europe to obtain food every year.