My colleague in Tokyo, Justin McCurry This update is on Japan and South Korea’s plans for this week agree to resume business trips Between the two countries, amid optimism about a slowdown in new COVID-19 infections. Tourism will remain suspended.

Japanese media reported that expatriates and other long-term residents, as well as those traveling on short business trips, will be able to enter one country from the other, provided that the result of the Corona virus test is negative and details of their flight paths are provided.

While no date has been announced for the resumption of commercial travel across the Sea of ​​Japan – known as the East Sea in Korea – the new Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, agreed to speed up talks in a phone call with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae. Late last month, according to Kyodo News.

Loading a plane before departure from Haneda airport last week.

Loading a plane before departure from Haneda airport last week. Photography: Carl Kurt / Getty Images

Japan began imposing travel bans on foreign visitors as early as February, eventually covering 159 countries and regions. But it has recently eased restrictions On people entering for work and long-term residence abroad from countries where the pace of new infections is slowing

Participants are required to take a virus test before departure and after arrival in Japan, and to self-quarantine for two weeks. They should also designate a guarantor in Japan who will ensure that they follow the rules.

However, tourism via the Sea of ​​Japan – known as the East Sea in Korea – will remain banned. More than 5.5 million South Koreans visited Japan last year, of which just over 300,000 were here for work, according to the Japan National Tourism Association.

Media reports said this week that Japan’s sweeping ban on international tourism may ease in time for the postponed Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which is set to open on July 23.

The measures under consideration include requiring tourists to download a health screening app as soon as they obtain visas in their home countries and providing evidence that they have proven incapable of Covid-19 before departure.

Jiji Press reported that those who tested positive again upon arrival in Japan could be exempted from two weeks of quarantine on condition that they use the app to regularly inform authorities of their physical condition.

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