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03 December
Thursday

Asia

Japan considering no-quarantine 72-hour entry starting soon for business travelers

Travelers, and their countries, have to meet certain conditions

Photo: KYODO

/NOVOSTIVL/ Japan is considering exempting businesspeople entering Japan on a 72-hour or less short stay from the country's quarantine requirement, provided they follow certain COVID-19 precautions, government sources said Thursday.

“When is Japan going to be open for international travel again?” is a question we all want an answer to, but when the complexities of a global pandemic combine with the extremely varied aspects of moving between countries, there aren’t any quick and comprehensive answers. There is, however, a new ray of hope.

The Japanese government is considering a new program which would allow business travelers to enter Japan, and also skip the two-week quarantine period, if they will be staying in the country for less than 72 hours. This is a shorter period than the entry permit available to business travelers from Thailand, Korea, and a small number of other nearby countries, but the 72-hour permit would be available to travelers from roughly 30 nations.

Entry into Japan would come with a handful of conditions, including a PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Japan to confirm a lack of coronavirus infection. Travelers would also be required to submit a written document outlining their planned activities and lodging location for their stay in Japan, ostensibly with travel outside of necessary business activities not allowed. 72-hour entrants also would be required to refrain from using public transportation during their time in Japan.

Nations’ eligibility for their citizens to be granted the 72-hour permit would be dependent on their coronavirus situation, with only those countries where infection numbers are deemed to be “under control” qualifying. With that criteria, analysts consider it unlikely that the U.S. or India will be included in the initial batch of approved countries.

Still, any progress that can be safely made towards reopening Japan’s borders is something to be happy about, even if pleasure travel looks like it’s going to have to wait until the spring.

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