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Japan to exempt business travelers, returnees from 14-day quarantine

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Because covid knows the difference and only infects tourists?

26 ( +36 / -10 )

If that's going to be the approach, why bother quarantining anyone?

"With the 14-day quarantine policy a significant stumbling block for overseas business travel, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, placing importance on restarting economic activity, has pushed for the exemptions to move forward."

Here it is, folks. In the end, it's all about the money.

28 ( +35 / -7 )

Not sure what to make if this. My fear is that if covid cases spike after the relaxation, non-Japanese will be blamed.

27 ( +34 / -7 )

And where does Suga think Japanese businessmen go when abroad? Meetings, bars, pubs, restaurants, cabs, airport terminals, planes....all high risk contraction areas. If companies are smart they would stick to video conferencing and have their own quarantine plan in place or risk infecting the whole office floor when the traveler returns.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

@dbsaiya

if companies are smart they would stick to video conferencing and have their own quarantine plan in place or risk infecting the whole office floor when the traveler returns.

That is exactly the point. Most of the japanese companies are not smart.

In my company my boss asked me and some of my japanese co-workers to start business trips already to Europe.

But we all refused! Even my japanese co-workers refused. And that is a very rare case.

But by boss and the management are not happy about our refusing.

So big trouble here now!

The point is, if my neighbours know that I came back  from a business trip from overseas, they will blame me a lot.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Don’t mind quarantining......yes, it’s not ideal

but doable.......they need to end the 72 hour corona test. That’s the problem. Many people can’t get the test results back within 72 hours much less risk the return ticket.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

"Most of the japanese companies are not smart."

LOL, I guess you haven't that it was the foreign business community that has been pressing Japan to ease the travel restrictions.

European business group urges Japan to relax travel restrictions

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/22/business/european-business-group-japan-travel-restrictions/

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

@Nihonview

Sorry, but I don't see a relation between the article in Japantimes and my post.

I know that the european business group urges Japan to open the restriction for travelers, but that doesn't mean that japanese companies has to send its workers for business trips overseas.

It is like dbsaya said,  If companies are smart they would stick to video conferencing.

But most of the japanese companies are not smart, because they prefer personal business trips than video conferences.

Since the pandemic starts, my company starts Video Conferences, but the management don't like it. Even everything goes well. And now, because the travel restrictions are getting easier, they already want us to go abroad for business.

That is not smart.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

"Since the pandemic starts, my company starts Video Conferences, but the management don't like it. "

Business is built on relationships. Why did the European business community demand an end to the travel restrictions if video conferences would suffice? Because they don't. Both the Japanese and Europeans know that. Every country is trying to open travel bubbles. Singapore, South Korea, etc. Are they all dumb as well?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

.......Come on Japan can you do anything right......so now you want to REALLY open things up....

Allowing Japanese & residents to return & stay home for 2weeks is reasonable, opening the gates & with no 2weeks at home will significantly increase chances of infection, spreading etc......

Also HOW on earth can Japan manage the number of arrivals from all over the world & not possibly exceed the numbers they can handle, THAT kind of coordination I cant imagine being possible, what then if say the limit is 1000\day & 1500 arrive, do the 500 odd people stay stuck between their plane & Customs somewhere & line up or.....doesnt sound good

Also could this be aimed at the Olympics, THAT always figures into things, if so THIS idea is one HELL of a gamble!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

C'mon everyone! Japan Inc. needs ITS people to travel outside the country for work. If JGov mandated ONLY Japanese business nationals, as it did awhile back for pleasure travel, there would be another 'shaving cream storm' of outcry. And yes, JGov thinks viruses only affects tourists and travelers. Here's the Deal JGov. Eliminate this 'cryomagnetoarachnozeenophonicphbia" and open up!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So are returnees still banned from using public transport from the airport? I don't mind quarantining at home, but I really don't want to spend money on a two-week stay in a hotel. Not all of us can rent a car or get someone to pick us up. It is still not so easy to get a quick and affordable test within 72 hours prior to departing for Japan either.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I'm a travel writer. Does that include me?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan is set to conditionally exempt business travelers and returnees from the 14-day quarantine policy currently imposed on all overseas arrivals to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, government sources said Wednesday.

Both Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with resident permits will be eligible for the exemption, with no restrictions on countries, the sources said.

There is not enough information at all yet to make a reasonable comment on this policy. We would need further clarification on the word "conditionally".

Those eligible will be required to submit a detailed plan of their movements in the 14 days following entry into Japan, including accommodation and place of employment, they said.

Does this also apply to Permanent Residents or Residents of Japan? If so it is extraordinarliy draconian.

@nihonview - I do not agree with you often but I do agree with your statement below. You are 100% correct that the foreign business community (ACCJ, etc.) has been pushing for this.

"Most of the japanese companies are not smart."

LOL, I guess you haven't that it was the foreign business community that has been pressing Japan to ease the travel restrictions.

The statement "Most of the Japanese companies are not smart" is a ridiculous statement as 90% of my clients are relatively large Japanese companies and they have been handling this issue with equal vigilence as the overseas clients or end users of their product.

My perspective is logic and humanitarian. Japan consistently states it wishes to attract "highly skilled foreign people to Japan" but the actions where Permanent Residents are either excluded from re-entering the country or the rules are impossible to follow (72 hour test in most locations) is a problem for Japan and for foreign residents. We have already received the message very loud and clear from the Immigration authorities in Japan that we are not necessarily wanted here. If I did not have a business and did not feel responsible for my Japanese employees I would probably leave (I know many people - long term residents - who have left already). Fortunately my wife complete understands this.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"conditionally" Is the word here.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The 14 Day quarantine runs on the honor system anyways. Airport staff tells you to go home for 14 days and it is up to you to stay home and abide by their rules. Nobody is camping outside your house or building making sure you follow orders. Bigger companies, like the one my friend works at, put their employees in hotels for quarantine to avoid negative press if someone is caught breaking protocol.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Great news! Thank you Suga-san!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

One more step towards open borders,

My parents will hopefully get to see their grandchildren in the near future.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Agree with other posters, what a silly ridiculous move by Japan. All foreigners should be banned from entry indefinitely and some even deported to get control of COVID, any country on Earth knows this but Japan doesn't. Ban them all like a normal country ffs

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@Nihonview

Are they all dumb as well?

To keep a pandemic under control, yes they are dumb!

On one hand, these countries do lockdowns, hard restrictions and so on...to keep the pandemic under control.

But then on the other hand, they want to open the borders for "free" travel.

How can that match together?

Especially if you have the possibility to do the same work via Video conference.

In my opinion, the Covid 19 situation in Japan is good. Why to bring this good situation on a risk, by "free" business travel, if you have the possibility to do the same work via Video conference.

To make business travel possible:

The travelers should follow the restrictions like Quarantine and PCR Tests.

To make "free" business travel possible:

The world needs a vaccine!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Good move by Japan.

2 PCR tests, one before departure and after arrival will still be required. I do not see the reason for a two weeks quarantine being asked after two consecutive negative articles.

The Japanese press this morning was actually mentioning it could me a reduction from 14 to 7 days.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All these rules have nothing to do with Covid, if it did the same rules would apply to everyone.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

So are returnees still banned from using public transport from the airport? I don't mind quarantining at home, but I really don't want to spend money on a two-week stay in a hotel. Not all of us can rent a car or get someone to pick us up. It is still not so easy to get a quick and affordable test within 72 hours prior to departing for Japan either.

Yes, I re-entered recently and I paid for hotel. I also rented a car to reduce the cost to ¥12,000 from ¥30,000 in case you hire a company.

They don't really track you. You must scan QR code and use with LINE. The purpose is to send them every single day answers ( only in Japanese ) to questions such as:

do you have a fever today?

do you feel well?

Thats it . However, we stick to the rules.

===

PCR within 72h is possible in some countries, but one risk losing money on ticket when result comes positive. Airlines will reschedule your flight but not give you back thousands of $ or €. It cost of course because one take voluntary not because of symptoms which then is free . Anyway, unlike my Japanese wife, I'm was double tested which makes no sense when you travel together from the same country.

Plane was with 98% Japanese citizens who as we know not need any test prior to flight. To finally leave Narita it took about 2.5h

I'm against double standard when comes to PCR before come here. Everyone or nobody! Are we the foreigners only who bring viruses? Well according to half year old J news on YT all the propaganda shows 15 foreigners arrived infected and only 2 Japanese.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Given the anticipated burden on airport staff to handle paperwork

How many hankos does this paperwork require?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan to exempt business travelers, returnees from 14-day quarantine*

Many countries in Europe started doing the same from summer and you see what is happening now with new wave of infections.

Equally concerning how the reason for waving the quarantine is:

Given the anticipated burden on airport staff to handle paperwork and other inspection measures.

If we cannot get something this simple right, how can we send a confident message to the world saying we are ready for a more complex task, which is to welcome safely 200 athletes from all over the world for the Tokyo Olympics?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Monty

But most of the japanese companies are not smart, because they prefer personal business trips than video conferences.

Since the pandemic starts, my company starts Video Conferences, but the management don't like it. Even everything goes well. And now, because the travel restrictions are getting easier, they already want us to go abroad for business. 

That is not smart.

yes, these are all very good points. I mean, the only thing I can think of are things in which require in person meetings or to be in person to accomplish. But I wonder what exactly those would be?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My school is still waiting for 2 UK teachers to arrive. They were supposed to start work 2 months ago. WTF is going on???!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm puzzled.

Is business more important than containing the the virus or the quarantine is really not needed after all?

It can't be both at the same time.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan to exempt business travelers, returnees from 14-day quarantine

Excellent. Good choice.

Naturally, by reading the headline one can safely assume that it's about business. No shocker there.

It's a good decision as japan needs to get bavk on its economic feet.

Thumbs up.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan is set to conditionally exempt business travelers and returnees from the 14-day quarantine policy currently imposed on all overseas arrivals to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, government sources said.

Both Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with resident permits will be eligible for the exemption, with no restrictions on countries, the sources said.

I'm confused.

So, that means people on business, Japanese nationals and foreign residents with permits are exempt from quarantining. Who's left? The random tourist? The ones that WON'T come because 14 days is pretty much the entire vacation time?

I mean, it's not like anyone will be checked anyways, it'll all be on the honor system, right? Well, this should be exciting.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm not against PCR testing before departure, but some people can't afford it, can't find it or can't do it in time. And are there enough hotel rooms at the airport for people to stay in? There has got to be an easy way to get home from the airport on the same day.

And why is there a ban on other East Asian countries when they have very very few new daily cases? If anything, they should be banning Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is business more important than containing the the virus or the quarantine is really not needed after all?

There are very few deaths from the virus in Japan because Japanese people have the sense to wear masks and stay home when infected.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What JT has for some reason excluded from the source material is that Business Travellers will be restricted from using public transport for 14 days.

As a business traveller hoping to return to Japan soon myself, this (just like all the other "relaxations" of the rules so far) render the move completely useless.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No one is going to travel when you can't get travel insurance to cover you and no company will want the liability if you get sick and are one of the unfortunate ones who develop serious symptoms.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

New Zealand for the second time got rid of the COVID why won't Japan shut everything down for 2 weeks, doing serious testing and really try and rid this virus once and for all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@gogogo

Because covid knows the difference and only infects tourists?

and all non-business foreign residents

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which are the countries that are under consideration for level 2 advisory ? Really getting annoyed with this virus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not against PCR testing before departure, but some people can't afford it

Cost in US$ range from about $180 to as high as $290 (calculated form Euro and GBP). At some point it was good that my spouse didn't need to take test. It saved us some money which we could use to rent a car from Narita. The rent was still cheaper than PCR itself. On the other hand, it is total discrimination when Citizen and Foreign spouse traveling from the same country and only one is scrutinized as potential virus spreader and threat to National Security ( based on Article).

...So, that means people on business, Japanese nationals and foreign residents with permits are exempt from quarantining. Who's left? The random tourist?...

Ordinary Japanese and Foreign Residents who are not business people are also left. Tourists are not allowed yet, except those who transfer to another int. flights.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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