Japan eases travel curbs for S'pore and 7 other countries

TOKYO • Japan has eased travel curbs for Singapore, China and six other countries as well as one region, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said yesterday, as Tokyo steps up efforts to revive its economy while preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Japan lowered its infection risk advisory level for Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, China, New Zealand, Brunei and Vietnam, as well as Taiwan to Level 2 on its scale of four, telling its citizens to avoid non-urgent, non-essential trips. Japan previously issued a Level 3 alert for those areas, warning citizens against all travel.

Mr Motegi said Japan and Vietnam have also agreed to restart reciprocal business travel from tomorrow, Kyodo News agency reported. With the measure, travellers will no longer need to observe a 14-day quarantine upon arrival if they test negative for Covid-19 and also submit itineraries, among other measures.

Vietnam is the third country with which Japan has resumed travel for people on short-term business trips, following Singapore and South Korea.

Last month, Singapore and Japan launched a "residence track" for business executives and professionals who are work pass holders, following a reciprocal green lane, or "business track", catering mainly for short-term business travellers and official travel between both countries.

This will help restore connectivity and support economic recovery for Japan and Singapore, both nations' foreign affairs ministries said in an earlier joint statement.

The "residence track" was to be done with the necessary public health safeguards in place, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For the business track, safeguards include pre-departure and post-arrival testing, as well as the need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days in the receiving country.

REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2020, with the headline 'Japan eases travel curbs for S'pore and 7 other countries'. Subscribe