Japan to lift foreigner re-entry ban from Sept 1 amid Covid-19 pandemic

Japan has faced criticism for a strict border policy. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan will lift a re-entry ban on foreigners from next month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday (Aug 28), as the country looks to rebuild an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

"From Sept 1, we will allow foreigners with proper visas to re-enter after leaving the country, on condition that they take additional measures to prevent infection," Mr Abe said.

The policy will "allow those who are currently in countries on which Japan has imposed an entry ban to re-enter", he added.

Japan has faced criticism for a strict border policy to limit coronavirus that has kept out most non-citizens, including those with long-term residency.

Mr Abe said the loosening of the rules would be implemented alongside measures to keep coronavirus at bay.

The announcement came hours before the news that Mr Abe plans to resign over health issues.

Japan has been hit less hard than most advanced economies by the coronavirus, with just over 65,000 cases, and around 1,200 deaths.

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