Japan is weighing its options on re-opening its tourism sector to select countries which have low levels of coronavirus infections.
Japan has already eased restrictions put in place earlier this year to control the coronavirus outbreak, these include reopening of departmental stores, schools, sports clubs, and cinemas in its capital Tokyo.
According to media reports, the government is could potentially allow tourists from countries including New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, and Vietnam in the coming months.
Japan’s foreign ministry did not immediate respond to requests for comments.
As of Monday, around 17,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Japan with a death toll of 900.
Japan had barred the entry of foreigners since February.
According to anonymous sources, Tokyo is also considering allowing business travelers from the four countries if they test negative for COVID-19 in two separate tests conducted upon departure from their home country and arrival in Japan, reported Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Once permitted, the movements of visitors would be restricted to areas including their place of stay, company offices and factories, said the newspaper while adding, their usage of public transport would be banned.
Incidentally, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), of which Japan is also a member.
Southeast Asia accounts for around 4.4% of global COVID-19 infections in comparison to nearly 40% from Europe and the Americas, going by data from the World Health Organisation.