Japan releases plans to ease border controls
The Japanese government is discussing measures to loosen the entry ban on business travelers, and planning to waive quarantines on visitors from certain countries as long as they have submitted negative test results and provide detailed visiting plans.
The goal is to facilitate business travel and start reviving the economy. Partnering countries that Japan is discussing measures with are Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand, Nikkei reported.
Anyone who wants to enter Japan from the partnering countries needs to have polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, an accurate genetic test for the coronavirus, and provide the negative test results plus visiting plans to local Japanese embassies for the visas. The plans need to list the visitors' destinations and accommodation in Japan within two weeks after entry.
Businesses in Japan that receive visitors also have to submit managing plans and proof to the authorities, explaining the necessity of having foreign arrivals. Once the process is completed, visitors will not have to undergo the two-week quarantine.
However, they are not allowed to take public transportation, and the government will geolocate them through their smartphones to make sure they follow their visiting plans. Those not following regulations will face deportation, and the same regulation is likely to be required if people want to leave Japan for partnering countries.
According to Nikkei, adding more countries will depend on the number of PCR tests that Japan can conduct each day, which are between 5,000 and 6,000. However, the number of daily visitors to Japan for the first four partnering countries was more than 8,000 in 2018, including regular travelers.
The number of daily travelers from Japan to the U.S., China, South Korea, and Taiwan was 30,000, which explains why these countries will remain excluded from the travel bubble before Japan can increase its capability for virus testing.