Japan to allow some business travelers to enter the country for 72-hours, no quarantine required

The Japanese government is considering letting business travelers enter the country for stays of less than 72-hours without being subject to a 14-day quarantine period, starting in November. Business travelers will still have to have a certificate showing a negative COVD-19 test result and to submit an itinerary during their stay but will not be subject to a 14-day quarantine (waiting) period. Eligible travelers will be determined based on their particular country’s COIVD-19 infection status.

Business travelers coming to Japan on these short-stay visits will be requested to limit their travel to trips between their accommodation and work place and to not use public transportation.

Only Singapore and South Korea are currently eligible under this framework, but business travel between Viet Nam and Japan is scheduled to start soon; and an agreement with China is expected within the month.

Which countries will be eligible for the 72-hours business travel framework?

Countries targeted for the new 72-hour business travel framework will be those in Asia and Oceana which have not yet reached a bilateral agreement regarding business travel. These include Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Other countries may also be eligible for the short-term business travel framework depending on the government’s assessment of infection levels in the country.

Current status of immigration restrictions

Starting in September foreigners with long-term visa statuses (of longer than three months) were allowed to re-enter Japan. This was expanded to new entries as well as re-entries starting in October.

Japanese nationals returning from overseas business trips and foreigners with residency visas are also exempt from the current two-week quarantine requirement.

The inspection system at airports will also be expanded. In September, Narita, Haneda, and Kansai International Airports were capable of administering about 10,000 PCR tests per day. By mid-November New Chitose, Chubu, and Fukuoka will also be added to the list of airports, with each being able to handle 20,000 tests per day.

Source: Nikkei, October 22, 2020 (in Japanese)

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