Japan reduces quarantine to three days for business travellers

; a traveller at a deserted Haneda Airport pictured

Short-term business travellers to Japan need to undergo only three days of quarantine on arrival if they meet certain criteria, but the entry restrictions remain under fire for being too cumbersome.

As of November 8, fully vaccinated visitors staying less than three months for business or returning home from a business trip, can enjoy relaxed restrictions as part of the Japanese government’s “phased measures for resuming cross-border travel”.

Current entry requirements for business travellers may deter companies and individuals; a traveller at a deserted Haneda Airport pictured

But the requirement for the traveller’s organisation to take responsibility for their trip might prove a barrier to a significant increase in business travel to Japan, according to the country’s business community.

The traveller’s organisation or the organisation inviting the traveller must prepare an application form, a written pledge that the traveller will abide by the rules, a plan of where the traveller will stay and go from days 4 to 10 and a list of fellow travellers. These documents should be submitted to the ministry most appropriate for the traveller’s industry.

The traveller, meanwhile, is required to prepare a copy of a vaccine passport or other record of vaccination if they have been inoculated and a negative result of a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.

All arrivals will be tested on days 1, 3 and 10 before restrictions are lifted, which include using public transport only if they have reserved seats.

Although Keidanren, the Japanese Business Federation, said the relaxed rules were a “big step”, they added that fully vaccinated travellers should be exempted from quarantine in line with other countries including Australia, the US and France.

Christopher LaFleur, special adviser to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), said the ACCJ “welcomes the travel policy change” but called for Japan “to move as rapidly as possible to eliminate quarantines and to simplify and eventually eliminate sponsorship procedures for vaccinated travellers.”

As for business travellers to Japan without a Japanese government-approved inoculation (using Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines), they are required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

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