Japan to cut quarantine to 10 days for vaccinated travelers

Nikkei -- Sep 09
Japan looks to shorten quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers entering the country from two weeks to 10 days as early as this month, opening the door to easier business travel.

The reduced isolation period would apply only to those who have received vaccines accepted for use in Japan: the Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots.

The change will be included in a set of measures due out Thursday designed to ease coronavirus-related restrictions as Japan's inoculation campaign makes headway.

Shorter quarantines would give companies more flexibility to send employees on trips abroad, which many are reluctant to do under the current system. The powerful Keidanren business lobby has called for exemptions for vaccinated travelers.

Japan will consider exemptions to a more stringent quarantine protocol applied to travelers from areas where the highly infectious delta variant is prevalent. That protocol requires spending up to 10 of the 14 days of self-isolation at a designated quarantine facility. The list of applicable countries will be worked out going forward.

Another proposal would shorten the isolation time further for travelers who submit itineraries along with a written pledge to take specific steps to curb the spread of the virus. Japan hopes eventually to allow foreign travelers into the country under similar requirements.

The proposals also look to ease restrictions on vaccinated individuals in areas under coronavirus-related emergency decrees, an effort to boost Japanese economic and social activity disrupted by the pandemic.

The government plans to permit crowds at events beyond the current cap of 5,000 in such areas, if proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test is required or steps are taken to facilitate contact tracing.

It also intends to let restaurants serve alcohol if their COVID-19 precautions receive approval from local authorities or other third parties, and Japan is expected to let operating hours be extended beyond the current 8 p.m.

経団連はコロナ禍での社会経済活動を活性化させるため、入国する際の隔離期間を10日間に短縮することや、一般の病院などでも診療できるように検討すべきだとする提言をまとめました。 - TBS NEWS