Covid-19 fresh covid cases

Japan To Curb Covid-19 Border Controls On May 8

Covid-19 fresh covid cases

With its decision to categorize COVID-19 as a common disease, Japan on Monday announced to end the current border control measures on foreign tourists from May 8, Kyodo News reported.

Travelers arriving at five major airports — Narita, Haneda, Chubu, Kansai and Fukuoka — will be subject to the new framework, which is set to start when the legal status of COVID-19 is downgraded to the same category as seasonal influenza early next month.
With an aim to normalise social and economic activities, Japan government will simultaneously start a new genomic surveillance program, under which entrants with symptoms such as fever are tested voluntarily to detect new infectious diseases, as per Kyodo News.

Currently, foreign tourists are required to present certification of three COVID-19 doses or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure.

The end of the COVID-19 border controls, which were first implemented in February 2020 and are regarded by some as the most stringent among the Group of Seven industrialised nations, is anticipated to aid in the revival of inbound tourism in Japan, where it fell to a fraction of the record 4.8 trillion (USD 36 billion) in 2021.

Japan tightened border restrictions by prohibiting entry of nonresident foreigners and requiring returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents to quarantine at certain facilities, once the country started to experience cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in November 2021, read a report published in Kyodo News.

In late December, Japan introduced blanket COVID-19 testing for all arrivals from mainland China amid an explosion in infections in the country after Beijing drastically relaxed its stringent “zero-COVID” policy that had involved lockdowns and quarantines, read a report published in Kyodo News.

In early January, it further tightened border controls for visitors from the region by requiring proof of a negative test, but in March, however, the Japanese government ended the blanket testing for such visitors but started random testing at airports after finding that the number of those testing positive for COVID-19 had dropped.

Government officials claim that it takes a few weeks for test participants to receive their genetic test results.

Ahead of the across-the-board lifting of border control measures, Japan will ease those on all arrivals from mainland China from Wednesday and give them the option of entering the country by presenting proof of being inoculated with three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, it added. (ANI)

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