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Japan, Cambodia reach expat travel deal

14-day quarantine still applies, Tokyo also ready to ease student entry rules

Japan and Cambodia agreed on Saturday to reopen their borders for each other’s expatriates, possibly starting from early September.

However, expats will still be required to observe a 14-day self-quarantine period and take other precautions against the coronavirus.

The agreement came during a meeting between Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Japan has also decided to ease entry restrictions for foreign students, government sources said on Saturday.

As well, Tokyo intends to fully lift the re-entry ban on foreign nationals who hold resident status as early as next month, according to the sources.

  • Japan to ease entry for Thais

  • Japan to ease Covid-19 entry curbs on foreigners with resident visas

  • Hun Sen invites foreign military forces to Cambodia

The restrictions for foreign students will first be eased for those sponsored by the Japanese government. It is expected to be later expanded to self-supporting international students.

All foreigners will be required to take polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and prove that they are not infected with the virus when entering Japan, the sources said, adding that they will also be requested to stay in self-isolation for two weeks to monitor their health.

Japan currently denies entry from 146 countries and regions. The denial of re-entry for those with resident status had drawn strong criticism, particularly from the country’s expatriate community, as it effectively prevents them from travelling abroad and returning. Many other countries that have imposed travel bans do not discriminate between citizens and foreign residents in granting re-entry.

Most foreign students usually come to Japan in the spring and fall, when the school calendar in the country begins.

But many of them could not enter Japan this past spring as the government sharply increased the number of countries designated for entry restrictions in early April, in response to the global pandemic.

Besides foreign residents, who are allowed to re-enter Japan under certain conditions, the relaxation of the restrictions has so far only applied for those on business trips.

The Japanese government has recently decided to accept business travelers from 16 countries, including Thailand and Vietnam.


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Originally published: https://www.bangkokpost.com

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