Japan reopens borders in phased manner: What it means for travellers
- Everyone entering Japan must be fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines
- Japan shut its borders to virtually all foreign visitors in January
- About 73% of the Japanese population have been fully vaccinated
The Japanese government on Friday announced that a phased re-opening of borders for business travellers will be out into effect from Monday, November 8.
The change is aimed at shortening COVID-19 quarantine periods for inbound business travellers from 10 days to three, if they have proof of vaccination, the government said.
Everyone entering Japan must be fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines that are recognized by the Japanese authorities.
Those eligible include travelers on short-term business visits of less than three months, as well as longer term visitors including foreign students and workers on so-called technical internship programs, with a 14-day quarantine requirement.
Schools and companies sponsoring them are required to submit documents detailing their activities and how they will be monitored.
Japan shut its borders to virtually all foreign visitors in January, except for those with special permits and for humanitarian purposes.
Daily cases have sharply fallen since September, in a trend generally attributed to vaccinations and extensive mask-wearing.
About 73% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Tokyo on Friday reported 25 cases, below 30 for the ninth straight day. Nationwide, Japan had 158 confirmed cases Thursday for an accumulated total of 1.72 million, with about 18,300 deaths.
The easing of border controls is part of Japan’s move to gradually resume social and economic activity. The government is experimenting with package tours, at restaurants and sports events before further resumption of daily activities.
For business persons who are fully vaccinated, the mandatory self-isolation period will be cut to a minimum three days.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Japan is to consider a possibility of allowing foreign tour groups by the end of the year after studying ways to control and monitor their activities.
With inputs from the Associated Press