Japan to relax COVID-19 border controls with 20,000 daily international arrivals

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Xinhua News

20th May 2022 – (Tokyo) The Japanese government said Friday that Japan will ease its COVID-19 border controls, doubling the cap on overseas arrivals to 20,000 people per day starting next month.

The government also plans to relax rules regarding COVID-19 testing and quarantine, dividing countries and regions into three categories based on their infection situation.

Travellers from the group with the lowest infection rate will be exempt from testing upon arrival in Japan and quarantining at home, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.

About 80 percent of entrants are likely to be from countries and regions that fall into that group, Matsuno said. The categorisation will be announced next week.

The travellers will still need to provide a pre-departure negative test result.

“We believe (the review) will make the entry of visitors smooth,” Matsuno said.

The decision comes as Japan’s infection situation has stabilized in recent weeks.

The Japanese government is also set to announce that wearing masks in outdoor spaces is not always necessary if people are not talking to each other, an official said.

Japan shut its borders to nonresident foreigners to curb surging infections amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus late last year.

In recent months, the government has gradually increased the number of entrants allowed into Japan in steps, currently setting the daily cap at 10,000.

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