Japan eases COVID border curbs, raises daily entry cap to 5,000

Nikkei -- Mar 01
Japan eased COVID-19 border controls on Tuesday, setting its limit on new entrants at 5,000 per day, up from the previous 3,500, and reducing or exempting quarantine periods for both Japanese and foreign nationals.

Within the daily cap, which was relaxed for the first time in three months, foreign nationals will be able to enter Japan for purposes other than tourism.

But more than 400,000 people already eligible for visas have been unable to enter the country as of Jan. 4, according to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, and calls for further easing of the controls remain strong among business and academic communities at home and abroad.

Japan's entry ban on nonresident foreigners effective from late November to the end of February, initially aimed at keeping the Omicron variant of the coronavirus at bay, has sparked a chorus of criticism for being too strict and not based on epidemiological reasoning.

After arriving in Japan, travelers will now be asked to quarantine for three days and required to test negative for the virus on the last day of that period.

Those who have been vaccinated three times and depart from countries where infections are stabilizing will not need to quarantine.

政府による新型コロナの水際対策が1日に緩和され、ビジネス目的などの外国人の新規入国がおよそ3カ月ぶりに再開しました。  後藤厚労大臣:「本日から水際対策の骨格を段階的に緩和していく方針です」  オミクロン株の流行を受けて政府が実施している水際対策では、これまで外国人の新規入国は原則停止されていましたが、1日からビジネス目的や留学生、技能実習生などの入国が認められます。  一日あたりの入国者数の上限はこれまでの3500人から5000人に引き上げられました。  入国後7日としていた待機期間は、ワクチンの3回接種などを条件に待機の免除や3日間に短縮となります。  政府は引き続き水際対策の緩和を段階的に進める方針です。 - ANNnewsCH