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Japan Travel Restrictions for 16 Countries Intensified

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

As a traveler planning to visit Japan soon, you are probably eagerly waiting when Japan will lift the travel ban for your country. While Japan is planning to open its borders to select countries and regions, it is sadly raising its travel advisory for several countries.

On Tuesday, July 21, the Japanese government warned its citizens from visiting 16 countries and regions amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus. These countries and regions are:

  1. Venezuela

  2. Nepal

  3. Kenya

  4. Palestine

  5. Paraguay

  6. Uzbekistan

  7. Madagascar

  8. Botswana

  9. Comoros

  10. Libya

  11. Liberia

  12. Republic of Congo

  13. Sierra Leone

  14. Somalia

  15. Sudan

  16. Suriname

According to Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, the aforementioned countries and regions are now at Level 3, the second-highest level from the top on the Foreign Ministry’s four-point scale for infectious diseases. There are 146 countries and regions on this level now.

The United States and all of Europe are among the 146 countries subject to the entry ban. The government has not announced any updates yet as to whether it’s going to lift travel restrictions for these territories soon. The travel ban applies to foreign nationals who have been to any of the regions within two weeks of arrival in Japan.

Japan Entry Ban Eased for Some Countries

Early in July, it was reported that Japan has been planning to ease travel restrictions for a few countries. These countries include:

  1. China

  2. South Korea

  3. Singapore

  4. Taiwan

  5. Brunei

  6. Malaysia

  7. Mongolia

  8. Cambodia

  9. Laos

  10. Myanmar

But as early as June, Japan already started accommodating business travelers to and from Vietnam. Japan had already been in talks with Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand to ease travel restrictions for business travelers going to and from these countries.

The easing of travel restrictions for business people from these countries is subject to two strict conditions — a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that should turn out negative and a detailed itinerary in Japan.

Apparently, Japan is only considering countries where coronavirus cases have dropped below three digits. This is part of the government’s plan to slowly recover the economic impact of the coronavirus by gradually reopening borders to some countries and territories that have the virus under control.

Japan Plans to Increase Testing Capacity

As of now, Japan cannot reopen its borders to several countries at once due to a limited testing capacity. The number of tests available at quarantine stations in Haneda, Narita, and Kansai airports are 6,000 only, plus 2,300 to 4,000 tests across the country.

Health Minister Kastuno Kato said that the testing capacity for business travelers arriving in the country will be increased to 10,000 per day in preparation for the lifting of the travel ban. The government is targeting to hit this figure by September.


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