Japan may ease virus entry restrictions next month

Travelers wearing face masks crowd at Haneda airport in Tokyo Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, on the first day of the 4-day holiday. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 23 September 2020

Japan may ease virus entry restrictions next month

  • Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, reports said
  • Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries

TOKYO: Japan is considering easing strict coronavirus border restrictions from October to allow more foreign nationals to enter, local media reported Wednesday.
Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, the reports said, as the nation looks to rebuild its economy and prepare for the postponed Olympics next year.
Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries, but has been negotiating the gradual resumption of cross-border business travel.
Business visitors are already allowed from seven places — including Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.
This limited travel resumption has not resulted in additional virus cases, so the government is now considering letting in eligible visa-holders from all countries, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, citing unnamed government sources.
Several other local media outlets reported similar stories, also citing unnamed sources. Arrivals would be capped at 1,000 per day and the minimum stay would be three months, they said.
An immigration agency official could not confirm the reports, saying only that negotiations on business travel resumption were ongoing with several countries.
Government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters that ministers “will study how to resume accepting new visitors while preventing a resurgence of infections.”
“We will deal carefully with the issue while keeping an eye on the virus situation,” he added.
With the postponed Olympics due to open in July, discussions are also ongoing about how to handle the arrival and movements of athletes and spectators.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19

India posts lowest daily new coronavirus cases in nearly four months

Updated 5 min 43 sec ago

India posts lowest daily new coronavirus cases in nearly four months

  • Experts have warned that infections could rise in India as the holiday season nears
MUMBAI: India posted its lowest daily coronavirus caseload in nearly four months, data from the health ministry showed on Tuesday, as new cases maintained decreasing trend from a peak in September.
The country reported 46,790 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to nearly 7.6 million — the second highest behind the United States. It also reported 587 deaths, taking the total to 115,197.
Experts have warned that infections could rise in India as the holiday season nears, with celebrations for the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Diwali due this month and in mid-November, respectively.