Japan to raise daily entry limit to 5,000

Japan is set to raise the daily limit on international arrivals to 5,000 people from 3,500 currently, in its latest move to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said the government will consider what can be done to further ease restrictions, taking into account the infection situation and vaccination rates both inside Japan and abroad.

The new entry limit will take effect on November 26. Entry restrictions were relaxed last week for business people, students and technical trainees. These arrivals still need to quarantine, and tourists remain banned.

Japan reported 163 new infections on Thursday, with 20 in Tokyo. The daily tally in the capital has been under 50 for more than a month.

But cases are rising in other countries, driven by breakthrough infections among vaccinated people and the rapid easing of restrictions.

South Korea reported almost 3,300 new cases on Wednesday, a daily record.

The resurgence comes as hundreds of thousands of students took their college entrance exams. Candidates who had tested positive were allowed to take the exams in hospital.

Germany also reported its highest-ever daily tally on Thursday, over 65,000 cases.

With preparations for the Christmas market underway in Hamburg, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to visit places that serve food and drinks.

The German government is trying to increase the vaccination rate, which remains below 70 percent.