Russia restricts diplomats, journalists, and politicians from the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein from obtaining a visa by a simplified procedure.
Canada, the EU, Israel, Japan, Morocco, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the U.S. ban flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, and Eswatini due to the Omicron variant.
Morocco's government announces that they will impose a nationwide curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time and will require all cafes, shops, supermarkets, and restaurants to close at 8:00 p.m. beginning December 23. In Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, and Tangier, all restaurants will be closed for three weeks.
Japan resumes commercial whaling after 30 years following the country's withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission. At least 227 whales are expected to be killed through to December.
Thirteen are killed and 34 others injured after a bus carrying Erasmus exchange students returning from the renowned Falles fireworks festival in Valencia, crashes near Freginals, Spain. The regional government of Catalonia said in a statement that, "... according to the latest data, the ill-fated bus had students from Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Italy, Peru, Bulgaria, Poland, Ireland, Japan, Ukraine, Holland, Belgium, France, Palestine, Turkey, (and) Greece."
Japan advises the International Whaling Commission that it plans to resume hunting minke whales for scientific research in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March 2016. The United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in March 2014 that Japan's decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014-2015 season. ICJ decisions were binding and cannot be appealed.
Montenegro, Norway, Iceland and Albania join the list of countries supporting sanctions including asset freezings and travel bans directed at Russian individuals.
South Korea announces plans to start "scientific" whaling of minke whales at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama City.
New Zealand environmental activist Peter Bethune is given a two year suspended sentence in a Tokyo District Court for his role in boarding a Japanese whaling ship.
An investigation by "The Sunday Times" alleges that Japan has bribed smaller nations in exchange for their vote to resume whaling at the International Whaling Commission.