DestinationsDomestic tourism curbs lifted, while talks are underway to restart business travel from countries like Vietnam and Thailand

Japan takes gradual steps towards reopening borders

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Travel freedom is now restored in Japan with the latest easing of coronavirus curbs.
Travel freedom is now restored in Japan with the latest easing of coronavirus curbs. Photo Credit: Byjeng/Getty Images

Japan removed all coronavirus-related restrictions on domestic travel last Friday 19 June, with people now able to sightsee, attend concerts and other events as the country seeks to bounce back from a pandemic recession.

The latest easing also marked the end of a government advisory for people to stay put in infected prefectures or avoid travelling to them, a move that is expected to bring relief to hotels, resorts and areas that rely heavily on tourism.

Gatherings of up to 1,000 people at indoor and outdoor events are now permitted.

Meanwhile, Japan will also begin to ease restrictions on business travel, starting with countries which have the coronavirus pandemic under control.

Japan Times reported that the government will seek to advance discussions with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, the first batch of countries from which Japan plans to accept visitors.

Travel restrictions on Thailand and Vietnam are likely to be eased ahead of Australia and New Zealand, as the latter two countries are prioritising the resumption of travel across the Tasman Sea, the report quoted Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi as saying.

Under the plan, foreign business travellers from the permitted countries are required to test negative for the polymerase chain reaction tests before and after arriving in Japan. They will also have to save their GPS data on their smartphones to enable contact tracing.

After coming to Japan, they will be banned from using public transport, and their travel will be limited in principle to between their workplaces and the facilities where they are staying, according to Japan Times.

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