Japan to ease travel restriction in three stages

| Posted May 25, 2020 | Immigration Matters

Japan considers easing entry ban

The Japanese government is considering easing restrictions on entry from countries and regions where the infection of the new coronavirus is under control in three stages. At the same time, the government plans to continue the entry restrictions in place for all countries and regions of the world during June, adding 11 new countries to the list of countries to be denied entry. The easing of immigration restrictions is likely to take place after the summer.

Immigration measures to be extended until the end of June.

Currently, the Japanese government is denying entry to the country from 100 countries and territories, and imposing entry restrictions that require a 14-day quarantine in hotels and other places for people entering Japan from those places. On May 22, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced that the government would prolong these immigration restrictions by a month, which had been initially set at the end of May. The new additional entry-banned countries and territories are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Argentina, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Ghana, Guinea, and South Africa, bringing the total number of countries and regions denied entry to 111.

Relaxation of entry ban in phase.

The Japanese government will give priority to allowing business travelers to enter the country, taking into account the economic situation. The next step is for international students who often work part-time at convenience stores or other industries. Tourists rank last because of concerns about the recurrence of the infection due to their frequent travel within Japan after entering the country. As for which countries to relax restrictions on entry into the country, the government will analyze the infection situation in the host country and make a decision based on economic ties and the need to travel to and from the country. Several countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan and parts of Europe with a low number of infected cases and strong economic ties will be taken into account. South Korean is not included in the list.

Requirement for PCR test.

It is believed that Japan''s inability to easily lift the entry restrictions was partly due to the lack of a sufficient system of PCR testing to confirm the infection. According to a close source, China proposed to ease the entry of business customers into the country, but was rejected by the Japanese government thanks to its insufficient PCR capability. For example, China currently requires foreign nationals to stay in quarantine for 14 days in designated facilities, but on May 1 it started a fast-track system to allow South Koreans visiting Shanghai, Tianjin and other cities for business purposes to enter the country on the condition that they bring a negative PCR test certificate, which was tested within 72 hours of their departure from South Korean, and a negative result on another PCR test after their entry into China. Since both countries (departure and arrival) need to agree on the lift of entry restrictions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has already begun to gather information on countries that have done so. ----------------------------- Source: やまとごころ, Yahoo Japan ニュース

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