Japan to ease passage for business travellers

Osaka's Umeda district cityscape at twilight

Japan is preparing to gradually reopen its borders to business travellers from countries that have shown success in bringing Covid-19 transmission under control.

From October 2020, up to 1,000 travellers will be granted entry per day to stay in Japan for business or other non-tourism purposes for more than three months.

Business travellers will soon be allowed to stay in Japan for more than three months; Osaka’s Umeda district pictured

All entrants will be required to pass a polymerase chain reaction test before departing for Japan and again on arrival. They will also have to self-quarantine for two weeks and agree to abide by rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which include signing a “commitment form” and naming someone in Japan who can be their guarantor.

The move builds on steps Japan took in July to resume travel with 16 countries that have contained the spread of the virus. Japan now allows entry to expatriates and long-term residents of seven countries in Asia, including Cambodia and Malaysia, and launched its first green lane to welcome business travellers from Singapore from September 18.

For outbound travel, Japan is also set to ease its advisory in next month. The Foreign Ministry currently classifies 159 countries and regions with a travel advisory of Level 3, which warns against all travel, but is expected to lower the advisory for countries that have shown control over Covid-19 transmission. Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam might be among the first countries to be reduced to Level 2, meaning that non-essential travel should be avoided, according to a report in The Japan Times.

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