Japan to expand quota of people who can enter country

Tokyo, Apr 1 (EFE).- Japan announced Friday it would increase the number of people who can enter the country daily from 7,000 to 10,000, although it will maintain the tourism ban, among other coronavirus restrictions.

Japan only allows entry to Japanese citizens, foreign residents and people who arrive with new study or work visas, as well as short-term business travelers, among others, but not tourists.

Since mid-March, the country has had a daily entry quota of 7,000 people to guarantee all travelers take PCR tests and other anti-contagion measures upon arrival.

This limit will now be raised by 10,000 from Apr. 10 “due to the growing demand of Japanese citizens who want to return” and the arrival of foreign students, whose entry was banned until early March, Executive Spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.

In mid-February there were some 150,000 foreign students waiting to enter the country, a figure several tens of thousands higher if other professionals, couples and relatives of residents are taken into account.

The government has not hinted at lifting tourism restrictions in the short term.

The Foreign Ministry lowered Friday the recommendation to its citizens not to travel to more than 100 countries, including most of Europe, North America and Latin America, due to the coronavirus.

The ministry said “the risk of contracting serious symptoms or dying from Covid-19” has been reduced in these territories, although the situation “remains very different between countries and areas,” Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a Friday press conference. EFE


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