TravelWhat it's like traveling to Japan amid the Omicron...

What it’s like traveling to Japan amid the Omicron variant


Tokyo (CNN) — Like so numerous persons all over the entire world, my everyday living was massively upended by the pandemic.

After finding legally married in 2019, my partner and I planned to have our wedding day celebration early the adhering to year in California.

We were being dwelling in Beijing when the Covid-19 outbreak began. Soon following my husband still left for a small business enterprise excursion in Dubai, but he ended up finding trapped there for 9 months.

We ultimately reunited at my new function base of Tokyo, and in the procedure delayed the marriage 3 situations in advance of ultimately settling on November 19, 2021.

Surrounded by good friends and family members I hadn’t observed in decades, existence started off to really feel like it was returning to ordinary.

From southern California, we went to Hawaii for a honeymoon. We were being astonished by the crowds of tourists, the totally booked inns, packed beach locations and occupied dining places.

But that sensation of normalcy was limited lived. On November 30, just times right before we had been owing to fly again to Japan, the country documented its initially scenario of the Omicron variant.

Japan at the time once again shut its borders to all foreigners, in 1 of the world’s strictest precautionary measures. Originally, the authorities even asked airlines to end accepting reservations for inbound flights.

Just a working day afterwards, Japan retracted the ban, adhering to an outcry that it would strand Japanese inhabitants and nationals — I am a resident with a perform visa — overseas. Day by day international arrivals were being lowered from 5,000 to 3,500 individuals per day.

My flight back again to Tokyo from Hawaii was canceled at the final minute, with no warning — I didn’t know it was canceled until finally I tried out to check out in on the web the day just before, only to learn my itinerary failed to exist. Following several hours on the phone with airline buyer assistance, it ended up that our only option was to fly back again to California, then all the way again to Japan.

Much less than an hour just before we arrived at the airport in Honolulu, detrimental PCR tests in hand, Hawaii was extra to the listing of sites in which arriving Japanese people and nationals would have to quarantine at governing administration-selected quarantine facilities. (Just after by now staying quarantined in Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo prior to, I was completely ready for it.) …

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