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Japan to phase out entry restrictions from summer

  • May 24, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 12:38 p.m.
  • English Press

The government has started discussions on gradually easing restrictions from this summer on the entry of people from countries and territories where infections with the new coronavirus are being contained, according to sources.


The government is currently restricting entry from countries around the world, and plans to maintain this policy in June. From the summer on, however, it hopes to begin easing restrictions by allowing a certain type of traveler, such as businesspersons.


Measures being discussed including having people who enter Japan undergo a PCR test in advance and receive documentation of a negative result. If they test negative again after entering Japan, they might be exempted from the 14-day waiting period at their home or other accommodations.


Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi indicated that the easing of entry restrictions would be gradual.


“For example, we will start with essential human resources such as business managers and specialists, and then move on to international students,” Motegi said. “I think [allowing in tourists may be a ways down the road.”


The government plans to gradually broaden the range of countries on which the ban is eased, and make a comprehensive decision based on factors such as how each country has contained the pandemic, how strong their economic ties are with Japan, and how essential the flow of people to and from each country is.


“Regarding members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I hope to exchange views with Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam in June or later,” Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of economic revitalization, said Friday on a TV program on BS Fuji.


The government plans to extend some restrictions — such as the suspension of visas already issued and requests for all visitors to Japan to self-isolate at their accommodations for 14 days — for another month, although these measures were set to conclude at the end of May.


The government will expand the number of countries and territories covered by the entry ban to 111 on Monday. A senior government official said, “We want to make a careful decision on easing the entry restrictions while considering the balance between infection prevention and economic revival.”

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