Japan To Start Easing Entry Restrictions

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Japan, a country whose borders have been closed for most incoming visitors since March, is in talks with four states to allow their citizens to travel to Japan perhaps starting this July.

Prime Minister Mr. Abe made the announcement today that they were working with Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam to facilitate incoming tourism.

Here’s an excerpt from the Mainichi (access their piece here):

Japan is in talks to make exceptions to its entry ban on Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, as it seeks to ease travel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.

Foreign travelers from these countries will be allowed into Japan on condition they submit negative results from a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test and an itinerary detailing where they plan to visit during their stay, Abe said at a meeting of the government task force on the COVID-19 response.

The move would be the first step in Japan’s resumption of international travel to and from parts of the world that have the coronavirus under control. Businesspeople are expected to be given priority, with students to be added at a later date followed by tourists.

Foreign travelers will also be required to save their GPS data using a smartphone app, making it easier for infections to be contact traced.

Conclusion

I would say that it is unlikely that Australia and New Zealand would allow their citizens to travel. Just yesterday, an Australian minister said (read more here) that he doesn’t see any foreign incoming or outgoing tourism before 2021.

Also, New Zealand has tried very hard to eradicate the Covid-19 and just begin using the country’s armed forces to ensure that people follow quarantine requirements.

Vietnam and Thailand both require 14-day quarantine (government facilitated) for their returning nationals.

Abe’s plan won’t work unless these four countries allow their citizens and permanent residents to travel to Japan, and there is no two-week-long quarantine awaiting when arriving back home.

Not sure if Mr. Prime Minister is detached from reality?

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