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Japan to resume cross-border travel with Vietnam

Update: 23-07-2020 | 15:52:12

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced on July 22 Japan will introduce the ‘Residence Track’ to allow the resumption of travel for citizens from Vietnam and Thailand as early as late July.

Passengers lining up for check-in service at an airport in Japan (Photo: Kyodonews)

However, it said Vietnamese and Thai citizens, upon entering Japan, will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at home or another designated area.

For businesspeople who enter Japan for business activities in a limited areas during the 14 day quarantine, Japan will continue to coordinate with Vietnam and Thailand through diplomatic channels, to soon reach an agreement on the issue.

According to Japanese media, discussions are moving ahead to allow businesspeople from the two countries into Japan on the condition that they test negative for the novel coronavirus and agree to retain GPS data on their smartphones to aid in contact tracing.

Vietnam is one of the first four countries Japan wants to ease travel restrictions it has imposed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The other three countries are Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

However, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on July 22 Japan will lift the restrictions on Vietnam and Thailand first as Australia and New Zealand are prioritizing the resumption of travel across the Tasman Sea.

At a press briefing on June 16, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan and Vietnam had agreed to ease travel restrictions “partially and gradually” and that it “won't take long” before travel between the two countries resumes.

Vietnam has brought COVID-19 under control for many days, and the lifting of the restrictions will help consolidate the comprehensive cooperation partnership between the two countries, the minister explained.

Japan has imposed travel bans on 11 countries and territories worldwide.

Vietnam has gone through nearly 100 days in a row without new locally transmitted coronavirus infections.

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