Japan will lighten travel restrictions with flights to Vietnam

12 Feb 2021

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Japan will ease travel restrictions that are imposed to keep the novel coronavirus pandemic under control, starting with limited flights to Vietnam later this month, government sources said Monday.

A chartered flight is being scheduled to carry about 250 Japanese businessmen, the sources said, adding that when they arrive in Vietnam they would be exempted from quarantine and when they return to Japan on condition that they check negative for coronavirus.

The plan comes as Japan is in talks to resume traveling with Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, where the coronavirus is under control and the risk of infection being imported is relatively low.

Since late March, Vietnam has not permitted entry or given visas to foreign citizens, with a few exceptions for diplomats included.

In late April, Japan attached Vietnam to its entry ban list and the Japanese Foreign Ministry released a Level 3 travel warning for the region advising citizens not to go there. Both countries command quarantine periods of two weeks for all arrivals.

But under the new scheme, travelers between countries will be exempted from these restrictions if they take polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, pre-departure and arrival tests, and both times test negative, the sources said. They would also need to send itineraries listing the hotels and locations they plan to travel to.

Priority will be given to businesspeople such as executives, with students and then tourists set to follow.

Depending on the case, certain countries on Japan's entry ban list, including China, South Korea, and the United States, could be dropped later.

Source: Kyodo News