The Japanese government is easing entry restrictions on business travelers for stays of up to three days. This is in order to revive economic activity as international visits were at a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the country plans to ease the restrictions for people from 30 countries and regions. It is doing so with the countries that Japan has strong business ties. It includes China, South Korea, and Taiwan. But the plan will come into effect next month.
Japan is looking at gradually reopening its borders to visitors from overseas. It is taking the initiative by reopening the borders for business travelers. However, the country observed some of the world’s strictest entry restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Japan has agreed with 10 countries and regions to allow entry to long-term visa holders and another three for shorter-term stays of around one month. Those are all reciprocal arrangements, but the latest plan involves only entrants to Japan.
Japanese companies traditionally do a lot of business with partners in India and the U.S. But the virus is far from contained in those countries, and the Japanese government intends to carefully monitor those nations’ infection rates before deciding whether to include them in the program.
Requirements for Entering the Country
However, to arrive in Japan visitors will have to take a coronavirus test. Moreover, they will have to avoid public transportation and submit an itinerary of their activities during their stay. They will not be required to quarantine in their hotels.
Moreover, business travelers will be asked to restrict their movements to limited areas, such as their workplaces and hotels.
The requirement of 14 days of self-isolation for business travelers will be waived for those who carry negative certification. And submit an itinerary for their stay.
Easing Restrictions and Increasing Testing Facility
However, the government is also planning to ease restrictions on Japanese nationals returning from overseas. Those travelers who are returning from an overseas business trip will be exempted from the 14 days quarantine requirement.
Japanese airports, meanwhile, are increasing their testing capacities. Japan’s three major airports — Narita International Airport, near Tokyo; Haneda Airport, in Tokyo; and Kansai International Airport, in Osaka — in September could conduct a combined 10,000 tests per day.
The number is to double by the end of November as airports in Hokkaido, Aichi Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture increase their testing capacity.
Japan has gradually eased entry restrictions put in place in the early weeks of the pandemic. As a result, in September, it began allowing foreign nationals with medium or long-term residential status to reenter the country. However, this month, it extended the measure to new foreign residents.