Japan could allow entry from overseas gradually in October, according to a Nikkei Asian Review article. It comes as the country intends to ease border restrictions it previously imposed to contain the COVID-19 spread.
Last week, the Japan Times reported that the government intends to reopen borders for international travel. The meeting of the country’s subcommittee on the virus, held on Friday, announced the planned easing of restrictions, which began last April to control the spread of the virus.
「渡航中止、10月以降段階的解除 相手国の入国緩和促す」の英文記事をNikkei Asian Review @NAR に掲載しています。
▶️ Japan to gradually lift COVID travel alerts from Octoberhttps://t.co/XqeMfCnS81
— 日本経済新聞 電子版 (@nikkei) September 28, 2020
However, the decision will still need approval on the next meeting from Japan’s virus task force. Nikkei reports that the government will prioritize regions with a low number of new cases of COVID-19, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam.
According to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the country needs to resume international travel to revitalize Japan’s economy.
Originally, Japan restricts the entry of people from 159 countries and regions. But some exceptions include those who own valid residence statuses in the country. Also, certain visa applicants with families living in Japan or with employers needing them to operate, the Japan Times reports.
And with the change, which would take into effect on October 1, the country will accept new residents allowed to live in the country for more than three months. This move could also encourage other countries to ease their restrictions to the Japanese travelers, Nikkei reports.
Moreover, Japanese nationals can also return to Japan, but depending on the country they came from or the intent of the travel. Valid reasons include medical services and educational matters. However, those coming from countries or regions with higher COVID-19 cases will encounter stricter protocols.
Starting in October, Japan also plans to lower the level of warning for different countries. Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brunei, and Belgium could possibly be Level 2. Still, the country maintains a mandatory two-week quarantine for travelers.
But Japan will limit foreign travel to about 1,000 per day. This limit will not include Japanese nationals. While the reason for such a decision stems from the limited testing capacity, Japan said it will further boost the number of tests at international airports by November.