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Japan eases travel restrictions to all countries, receiving Vietnamese employees

10:07 | 02/10/2020

A firm in Tokyo, Japan, has welcomed three new employees from Vietnam after a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

singapore to lift border restrictions for visitors from vietnam from oct 8 Singapore to lift border restrictions for visitors from Vietnam from Oct 8
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japan eases travel restrictions to all countries receiving vietnamese employees
Three Vietnamese employees entered Japan Photo: NHK

The solar power business firm, afterFIT, held a welcoming ceremony for the three on Thursday, NHK reported.

They were originally due to join the company in June after graduating from university in Vietnam. They received training at the firm's Vietnamese subsidiary while waiting for the entry restrictions to be eased.

The three introduced themselves in Japanese at the ceremony. One pledged to work hard so he can do a good job for the firm as soon as possible.

Tran Quang Khai said he had felt uneasy, wondering when he can come to Japan. He said he is pleased that his dream has come true.

The company has been hiring more foreign nationals, mainly from Southeast Asia, to secure talented workers.

CEO Tanimoto Kanzo says he appreciates the trend of relaxing entry restrictions. But he says some countries have toughened their restrictions and the future remains uncertain, so he hopes the pandemic will subside soon.

Japan eased entry restrictions on Thursday for foreign nationals, including students and business people, but excluding tourists. Those travelers must be accepted by entities or organizations capable of ensuring they have tested negative for the virus before entering Japan. After arrival, they have to stay in self-isolation for 14 days and avoid using public transportation during the period.

The government is considering limiting the number of entries to about 1,000 each day. At the same time, it will increase virus testing capacity at airports, government sources said earlier.

Expatriates and other long-term residents have been allowed to come from some Asian countries, including Vietnam and Thailand. Foreign students on government grants can also enter the country.

Previously, Singapore has announced that it would unilaterally lift border restrictions to visitors from Australia - excluding Victoria State - and Vietnam from Oct 8.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Wednesday (Sept 30) that these two countries both have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and have successfully controlled the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, StraitsTimes reported.

japan eases travel restrictions to all countries receiving vietnamese employees
Vietnam and Australia (excluding Victoria State) join two other countries that Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to. Photos: ST FILE, AFP

"The risk of importation from these countries is low," said the authority, noting that over the last 28 days, Vietnam had zero local Covid-19 cases.

Visitors from Vietnam and Australia will be able to apply for the Air Travel Pass for entry into Singapore from October 1. The earliest day they will be able to come into Singapore will be October 8.

The Air Travel Pass scheme allows for all forms of short-term travel, including leisure travel. This is in contrast to reciprocal green lane arrangements between countries, which are usually for essential business and official travel.

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