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Vietnam, Japan to roll out quarantine-free procedures for short-term entries from next month

October 23, 2020 | 06:56

Vietnam and Japan have mutually agreed to implement an expedited arrival procedure, allowing certain groups from one country to enter another without undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine on short-term visits.

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and his visiting Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide had farewell talks before the latter left Vietnam for Indonesia earlier this week. Photo: VNA

Vietnam and Japan have mutually agreed to implement an expedited arrival procedure, allowing certain groups from one country to enter another without undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine on short-term visits.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 21 issued a press release regarding the procedure, which will take effect starting November 1, following an agreement reached during the official trip of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to Vietnam earlier this week at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The Vietnamese foreign ministry noted that the procedure, called priority travel for short-term entries from Japan into Vietnam and “business track” for Vietnamese entering Japan, basically will waive quarantine requirement for people from either country who are going on trips shorter than 14 days for the purposes of investment, trade, diplomacy, official businesses or highly skilled workers.

However, prior to arrival, the entrant must obtain proof of negative tests for SARS-CoV-2 and still needs to be medically examined and monitored.

Following the entry into Vietnam and Japan, the entrant will still have to be tested for the coronavirus, their health status will be frequently checked, and they could only engage in activities according to an agenda that has been registered and approved with the receiving host country’s authorities.

The Vietnamese and Japanese relevant agencies will in the future provide detailed guidelines on the eligible entries, requirements, and regulations on the short-term entry procedure between the two sides, the foreign ministry noted.

Vietnam has closed its border to most foreign entries since March to prevent the spread of coronavirus but has taken steps to allow in diplomats, business executives, skilled workers, and students, but they all have to be quarantined for two weeks, Vietnam News reported.

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A woman wearing traditional dress uses an umbrella to shelter from the rain while crossing a street in Tokyo on September 24, 2020. (AFP/Charly Triballeau)

Meanwhile, Japan is also easing its border restrictions starting in October.

Kyodo News said Japan reopens borders for all foreign visitors with permits to stay in the country for some time, including students and business people, but excluding tourists, from October.

In relaxing immigration restrictions, Japan allows the entry of foreign nationals with permits to stay for three months or longer for purposes including engaging in medical, cultural and sports-related activities. Business trips for less than three months will also be allowed.

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 Japanese 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.

Vietnam and Japan are considered to have had a competent handle on the pandemic, with a low caseload and death toll./.

As of 6:05 pm on October 22, Vietnam confirmed 1,148 COVID-19 infection cases, including 1,049 recoveries and 35 fatalities.

Of the patient tally, 691 are locally-transmitted cases.

The Southeast Asian country has gone 50 days without a single community infection case of COVID-19./.

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Rosy Huong