Government AffairsHolders can travel quarantine free to an initial list of five countries.

Japan's vaccine passport now ready for flight

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The vaccine passport will initially be issued on paper, and the government plans to grow the number of countries accepting the document to 30.
The vaccine passport will initially be issued on paper, and the government plans to grow the number of countries accepting the document to 30. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Fritz Jorgensen

Japan has begun accepting applications for vaccine passports, which enable its fully-vaccinated holders the freedom to travel internationally to certain destinations without quarantine.

More details of the passport have emerged ever since the idea was first reported in March, primarily for use outside of Japan.

Apart from the usual identification details, the passport will indicate the first and second dose specifications down to manufacturer, lot number, and country of vaccination.

Applications are in-person or by mail for now, and available free of charge.

To prevent forgery, the vaccine passports will incorporate copy protection technology currently used for residence registration in Japan.

In this initial phase, five countries including Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, and Turkey currently accept Japan's vaccine passport travellers. The government has plans to grow this list to 30 destinations.

Vaccinated travellers to nearby Seoul on specific academic, business, or humanitarian reasons can also be exempted form 14-day quarantine with this vaccine passport.

These documents will initially be issued on paper, but a digital version is being considered for launch at a later date.

These vaccine passport holders will still have to abide by Japan's strict quarantine measures upon return, which include negative Covid-19 test results taken 72 hours before departure for Japan, and a 14-day self-isolation period.

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