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Japan to ease entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers

 

  • Japan to accept US, EU and Japanese vaccination certificates from visitors.
  • Japanese government also considers easing domestic COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Some medical experts warn about danger of lifting restrictions prematurely.

The Japanese government authorities announced that they intend to relax the COVID-19 quarantine requirements for those entering the country with a certificate confirming full vaccination against coronavirus as early as the end of September of this year.

According to initial reports, the quarantine period after crossing the Japanese border will be shortened from two weeks to 10 days.

Only certificates of vaccination with Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca will be accepted from foreign arrivals.

The vaccination certificates must also be issued in the USA, EU countries or Japan, to be accepted.

Earlier, the Japanese Ministry of Health suspended the use of about 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine from three batches produced in Spain. An unknown substance was found in the preparation.

The government is also expected to decide on extending the current COVID-19 state of emergency beyond the Sunday expiration date to Sept. 30 for Tokyo and 18 other prefectures, as hospitals remain under strain, ruling party sources said.

Currently, people have been asked to refrain from traveling across prefectural borders, but such trips are possible if people have completed their vaccine regimen or can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the sources with knowledge of the plan said.

The government is also planning to ease the current 5,000-spectator limit on large events if the same conditions are met.

Dining establishments that adhere to proper anti-virus measures will be allowed to serve alcohol, while groups larger than four can dine together.

Some medical experts have voiced concerns that it is premature to allow people to return to their normal lives as Japan has yet to contain the spread of the virus.

“We look carefully at the current state of the medical system and make a decision” on the state of emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.


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