Japan is preparing to admit up to 250 inbound travellers per day as it eases entry restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in the country.
The quota, which will begin this summer, will apply to travellers from New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand, because they have the pandemic under control and enjoy strong economic ties with Japan, according to The Mainichi, which cited unnamed government sources.
The plan will prioritise businesspeople such as executives and engineers, before opening to students and, finally, tourists, the article continued.
Under the scheme, travellers must test negative to a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before departure and take a further PCR test on arrival.
They will also be required to submit an itinerary and refrain from using public transportation. They may be asked to record GPS data on their smartphone to enable Japanese authorities to carry out contact tracing should they be found to be infected.
Air New Zealand is among the first airlines to announce resumed flights to Japan. The carrier will start passenger flights on June 25, with a weekly return service on its Aucklandâ€“Narita route, which has been suspended since March 30.
In time, the Japanese government expects to extend entry to citizens of other countries, including China, South Korea and the US. At present, citizens of 111 nations are banned from entry at Japan ports to help stop the spread of Covid-19.