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Japan considers allowing 250 business travelers daily

TOKYO >> Up to 250 business travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand could be allowed to enter Japan per day starting this summer, under a proposed relaxing of travel restrictions being considered by the government, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

As well as allowing visitors from the select countries — which have largely brought the spread of the coronavirus under control — the government is making preparations to open a facility dedicated to testing Japanese residents before they travel internationally.

When a task force headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pulls the trigger on easing entry to Japan, the government plans to come to an agreement with the four countries about resuming travel to and from the countries.

Foreign business travelers will require special permission to enter Japan daily. Visitors who test negative for the coronavirus upon arrival will be exempt from a 14-day quarantine.

They will be expected to limit their activity to work-related tasks and to have prearranged transportation. They will not be allowed to use public transportation.

In addition, business travelers will be required to submit paperwork proving that they have previously been tested for the virus, plus an itinerary for their visit.

The government will also ask travelers to keep a log of their whereabouts via smartphone and other means, for 14 days after arriving in Japan. The logs will aid in preventing spread of COVID-19.

Japanese travelers headed to Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand will receive assistance from the government in getting the testing required to enter those countries at the full-scale testing center.

The center is being opened to prevent an overburdening of Japan’s medical system.

Japan currently bans travelers from 111 nations and territories. The government also advises Japanese nationals to avoid visiting 129 specified countries and regions, and urges them to refrain from nonessential international travel.

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