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Japan and Malaysia may allow reciprocal travel for expatriates in September

There may be a coronavirus travel bubble between Japan and Malaysia soon

Kasey Furutani

After a long string of silence, we’re finally getting some travel bubble news. Japan began floating the idea of a travel bubble, an arrangement which allows travel between countries and regions with similar Covid-19 coronavirus safety measures, in June. Last Thursday, Japan and Singapore agreed to set up a travel bubble in September, allowing business travellers, expatriates and long-term residents to travel between the two regions with self-quarantining rules or, for business travellers, a requirement to provide a full itinerary for their trip. 

Now, Japan is in talks with Malaysia to resume travel between the two countries in early September. The Japan Times reports that Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein have agreed to allow expats to travel between the two countries, as long as safety precautions, such as self-quarantining for 14 days after arrival, are in place. This also includes government-sponsored Malaysian students studying in Japan. More details on safety measures and the exact start date are yet to be announced. 

Japan is considering fourteen countries and regions in Asia Pacific as potential travel bubble partners. This includes Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, in addition to Singapore and Malaysia. Any future travel bubble is likely to prioritise business travellers and long-term residents or expats, followed by foreign students and, finally, tourists. 

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