Japan is poised to let business travelers from countries with low infection rates bypass a two-week coronavirus quarantine requirement as soon as this summer, Riskovery learned Thursday. The Japanese government announced its plan to renegotiate immigration restrictions with countries that demonstrate a confluence of low risk and high demand.
While the United States and China remain on a temporary travel ban, Japan looks to allow a daily total of 250 travelers from Vietnam and Thailand as early as July. New rules for visitors from Australia and New Zealand will follow once an agreement has been reached.
The changes come after Japan lifted its nationwide coronavirus state of emergency in March as the nation looks to reopen ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed until July 2021. China began letting business travelers from South Korea enter certain regions last month. What are the main headwinds to opening its doors to other countries, such as the US? Japan currently doesn’t have enough COVID-19 tests to scale with a total resumption of business travel. Roughly 950 tests are conducted daily at Narita and Kansai – Japanese most highly-trafficked airports. “To expand [the reopening] to the U.S., China, South Korea and Taiwan, we would need a capacity of 10,000 tests a day,” a government source said.
While this might be a minor step toward full scale business travel, it may encourage Japanese corporations and other countries with similar infection rates to take reopening measures.
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