Haneda Airport
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Japan to reduce quarantine time to 10 days for vaccinated travellers

Starting October 1, overseas arrivals who are fully vaccinated can also skip the initial three-day hotel quarantine

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Earlier this month, it was reported that Japan could potentially cut down quarantine time for overseas arrivals to ten days from the full 14 days. As reported by The Japan Times, the relaxed rules are finally coming into effect starting Friday October 1.

According to the report, the government has announced it will shorten the quarantine period to ten days for most people who are fully vaccinated. They will also be allowed to immediately quarantine at home or an accommodation of their choosing, even when arriving from places with high Covid-19 cases. This move is a step towards gradually easing Covid-19 restrictions in Japan. The government also plans to revise entry restrictions in phases as vaccination rates in the country continue to increase. (In general, however, only citizens and foreign residents with valid visa and reentry permit are currently allowed to enter Japan.)

The ten-day quarantine applies to overseas arrivals who can present proof that they have been fully inoculated with one of the three Covid-19 vaccines authorised in Japan: Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. 

Along with the revised quarantine period, Japan will also begin accepting vaccine passports issued by 50 countries and regions on top of the vaccination passports issued by Japanese municipalities. They include France, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. More details to come.

After ten days of quarantine, the person will also be required to take a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or antigen test at their own expense. Negative test results must be submitted to the Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants before they are cleared to head out.

However, the shortened quarantine period does not apply to those coming from countries and regions where Covid-19 is still rampant, even though they are fully vaccinated. Japan has classified overseas arrivals into three categories based on Covid-19 risk levels:

Quarantine at a designated facility for the first six days

Applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Philippines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

Travellers from this category are subject to a six-day quarantine at a designated facility upon arrival, with tests taken on the third and sixth day of quarantine. After the sixth day, and with a negative test result, they can go home or to an accommodation of their choosing for the remainder of the 14-day self-isolation. Shortened 10-day quarantine exception does not apply to this category.

Quarantine at a designated facility for the first three days

Applies to arrivals from over 30 countries with high Covid-19 infection rates: Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mozambique, Pakistan, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia (Khabarovsk, Moscow), Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, UAE, UK, Uzbekistan, Uruguay and Zambia.

Travellers from this category will still be required to stay at a government-designated facility for the first three days. However, those who can show proof of vaccination can skip the designated quarantine facility and straight away self-isolate at home or an accommodation of their choice for ten or 14 days.

No self-isolation at a quarantine facility

Overseas arrivals from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nepal and Spain will no longer be subject to a three-day isolation period at a designated government facility. Instead, arrivals can self-isolate at home or an accommodation of their choosing for 14 days, or 10 days with proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test on the tenth day.

Regardless of which category a traveller falls into, the use of public transportation including trains, buses and taxis to leave the airport is still prohibited. Arrivals must use private car services or dedicated train cars to get into the city from the airports.

This report was first published on September 24 and updated on September 28. More updates to come.

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