Japan to cut isolation period for some overseas arrivals to 3 days

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office

The isolation period for people entering Japan from destinations categorized as low risk for infection with the omicron coronavirus variant will be reduced from seven days to three from March, according to sources, who said the government is preparing to relax border controls.

People entering Japan from high-risk countries and regions must isolate for seven days at designated accommodations. As of Tuesday, 82 countries and regions were categorized as areas where the risk of infection with the omicron variant is high.

People traveling from countries not categorized as high risk who have tested negative for coronavirus beforehand will be advised to isolate for three days at home or hotels.

The three-day isolation period will also apply to people entering Japan from destinations categorized as high risk if arrivals have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and have proof of a negative test result.

The number of people allowed to enter Japan per day will also be raised from about 3,500 to about 5,000.

The pre-arrival procedures for nonresident foreigners will also be simplified.

Until the end of November, the government allowed the entry of some short-term business travelers and international students, but their hosts in Japan had to submit activity plans to relevant authorities that were screened before their entry was approved.

From March, the activity plan will be handled solely by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the screening will be scrapped.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to hold a press conference as early as Thursday to announce information about the eased border control measures.