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Coronavirus

Japan Travel During COVID-19: Checklist for Business Track

Arielle Busetto

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Japan is relaxing travel restrictions further for Japanese residents and foreigners with resident status in Japan who, until now, had to jump through several hoops to re-enter Japan. Changes to requirements as well as new options have been added since October 30. 

 

In this first of two installments, we will discuss the Business Track immigration scheme, covering regular and short business trips. 

 

We outline steps you are required to take before leaving Japan, during your stay in the host country, and upon returning to Japan. 

 

Background

 

On October 30, nine countries and regions were promoted to advisory level 2, which means they are no longer on Japan’s travel ban list. When coming from these countries and regions, PCR tests 72 hours before boarding a flight and upon arrival in Japan are no longer necessary:

  • Australia
  • Brunei 
  • China (including Hong Kong and Macau)
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

 

Note that the information might differ slightly between countries in the same category, and depending on which direction you fly (to or from Japan). Make sure to check the relevant embassies for detailed information. In addition, airlines have their own requirements travelers might need to satisfy before boarding a flight.

 

 

Regular Business Travel

 

Duration:

14 to 30 days

 

Countries Covered:

Singapore, Republic of Korea, and Vietnam (from November 1)

 

Conditions: 

Before entering Japan: 

  • Monitor your health for 14 days prior to returning to Japan by measuring your temperature, for example.
  • Have a valid negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of boarding your flight back to Japan.. 

 

This is required even if the country where you are coming from is on advisory level two.

 

Upon arrival at the airport, submit:

  • “Health Condition Report” questionnaire providing health details while you traveled 
  • “Written Pledge” by your company justifying your travel abroad
  • “Schedule of Activities in Japan” to track your movements should infection be detected

  

Upon entering Japan: 

  • From a level three country: You are required to take a PCR test at the airport upon arrival. 
  • From a level two country: Travelers can go straight home. If the traveler hasn’t taken a PCR test before leaving the host country, he or she needs to do it in Japan, using, for example, TeCOT to book an appointment, and stay at home until they receive a negative result.

 

Quarantine: There is a two-week quarantine upon entering the country for all travelers.

 

Skip the Quarantine: Travelers who conform to all conditions listed below are allowed to forego the quarantine and to resume business immediately upon returning to Japan. 

 

Conditions: During the first two weeks after entering Japan, travelers need to refrain from taking public transport, limit interaction to a minimum, stick to the submitted schedule, collaborate with company health follow-ups, download LINE for health questionnaires and COCOA (the contact tracing app), and keep GPS information. 

 

Take-away: To facilitate business travel, the Japanese government has agreed to relax quarantine measures. However, a PCR test taken 72 hours before re-entering Japan is still required. In addition, more responsibility is shifted on employers by requiring the company to perform health follow-ups for the two weeks following an employee’s return to Japan.

  

 

Short-Term Business Travel

 

Duration:

7 days, excluding quarantine period, if any, required in the host country

 

Countries Covered:

All countries

 

Conditions:

Most of the conditions for regular Business Track travel apply to Short-Term Business Travel. However, short-term travelers enjoy exemptions and options not available to regular Business Track travelers.

 

Before entering Japan: 

  • Monitor your health for 14 days prior to returning to Japan.
  • Have a valid negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of boarding your flight back to Japan. 

 

This is required even if the country where you are coming from is on advisory level two.

 

Should the trip be shorter than seven days, travelers are allowed to take the PCR test after returning to Japan at their own expense using, for example, TeCOT, the website for PCR booking set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

 

Upon arrival at the airport, submit:

  • “Health Condition report” questionnaire providing health details while you traveled
  • “Written Pledge” by your company justifying your travel abroad
  • “Schedule of Activities in Japan” to track your movements should infection be detected.

  

Upon entering Japan: 

  • From a level three country: You are required to take a PCR test at the airport upon arrival. 
  • From a level two country: For a trip of less than seven days, travelers can go straight home. If the traveler hasn’t taken a PCR test before leaving the host country, he or she needs to do it in Japan, using, for example, TeCOT to book an appointment, and stay at home until they receive a negative result.

 

Quarantine: Two-week quarantine upon entering the country for all travelers.

 

Skip the Quarantine: Travelers who conform to all conditions listed below are allowed to forego the quarantine and resume business immediately upon returning to Japan. 

 

Conditions: During the first two weeks after entering Japan, travelers need to refrain from taking public transport, limit interaction to a minimum, stick to the submitted schedule, download LINE for health questionnaires and COCOA (the contact tracing app), and keep GPS information. 

 

Take-away: Like standard Business Track, this procedure allows some measure of business travel all around the world, provided the travel is less than seven days. In addition, to encourage business, the authorities allow arriving passengers to forego the quarantine upon return to Japan, provided certain conditions are fulfilled, including the PCR test performed in the host country or upon immediate return to Japan.

 

 

Prepare These Documents

 

“Health Condition Report” – A sample can be found here in Japanese, and here in English.

 

“Written Pledge” – Form for regular business track travel is here; for short business trips, here

 

A certificate of a valid negative PCR test taken in the host country 72 hours before the flight to Japan, unless you fall into one of the exceptions. If your travels are less than seven days, a PCR test upon return booked through TeCOT is possible, for example.

 

“Schedule of Activities in Japan” – Form can be downloaded here.

 

Information specifying where you will spend your quarantine – downloadable form here in Japanese, and here in English

 

Proof of valid health insurance in Japan, and one that covers you if necessary while abroad.

 

A smartphone to download two apps, LINE (for the health questionnaire from the Ministry of Health) and COCOA, the contact tracing app. You must preserve the phone’s GPS information for 14 days.

 

For all Business Track travelers, the employer must agree to provide health follow-up for 14 days following return to Japan.

 

 

(NEXT: Checklist for Residence Track) 

 

Author: Arielle Busetto

Arielle Busetto is a journalist at JAPAN Forward. She has finished the intensive Japanese course of the Inter University Center For Advanced Japanese Studies in Yokohama in summer 2018, and is originally from Siena, Italy.