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Japan to allow re-entry of returnees from Bangladesh

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 22 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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Japan to allow re-entry of returnees from Bangladesh

In a major change to border-control measures, the government of Japan has lifted the existing ban on re-entry of nationals from six South Asian countries, including Bangladesh.

According to the decision which came into effect from Monday night, Japan will allow re-entry to all returnees from six countries blacklisted over the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

The six countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka -- have been covered by a near-total entry ban on foreign nationals, including those who have been vaccinated and those with a valid residence status in Japan.

According to the updated Covid-19 countermeasures available in the website of Ministry of Justice of Japan, returnees from Bangladesh to Japan will be allowed to re-enter under the 'Special Exceptional Circumstances'.

The categories of 'Special Exceptional Circumstances' are mentioned in - https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/001347332.

The Bangladeshis, who have a period of re-entry permission, will be able to enter Japan directly. However, if the permission expires, the passengers have to contact the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.

The entry ban was imposed earlier this year as part of Japan’s quarantine measures on all foreign nationals who spent time in the six countries within 14 days prior to their intended arrival.

The government announced on September 10 that the measure, which was introduced in June, would be lifted for the six nations. The end of the entry ban for the six countries is part of a major revision of Japan’s quarantine policy, diplomatic sources said.

With the change, the government has introduced a three-day mandatory stay in government-designated facilities for travellers from more than 40 countries and regions due to the spread of the coronavirus and its variants, in particular.

Arrivals subject to the mandatory three-day measure will be required to undergo tests for COVID-19 on the third day of their stay in self-isolation after entering Japan, in addition to a test conducted on arrival.

Those who test negative will be allowed to return to their homes in Japan or to a facility of their choosing for the remainder of their 14-day quarantine period.

The measure will apply to Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Britain, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia (but only arrivals from Khabarovsk and Moscow), Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, U.A.E., Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zambia.

Travellers coming from other countries and regions are still required to self-isolate after entering Japan.

Under the revised policy, the government has reassessed travel risks based on factors such as the number of infections in each of the listed countries or regions, the risk of the spread of variants and the countries’ respective COVID-19 vaccine rollouts.

If needed, the government said it would reimpose stricter quarantine measures such as a longer mandatory stay in government-picked facilities for six or 10 days along with additional tests for the coronavirus.

Such rules might be reintroduced if the coronavirus situation abroad worsens. These measures would likely be accompanied by an entry ban for some foreign nationals, including residents of Japan.

Currently all people entering the country must self-isolate for 14 days at home or at other facilities and must not use public transportation throughout that time period.

Despite earlier promises by the government to shorten the quarantine period for people inoculated against the coronavirus from 14 to 10 days, that is not part of the latest changes.

Malaysia lifts ban

Meanwhile, the government of Malaysia has decided to lift the entry restriction for foreign nationals from certain countries, including Bangladesh, with immediate effect.

However, to curb further spread of COVID-19 pandemic, an entry into Malaysia may only be allowed, on a case-by-case basis upon obtaining a prior entry approval from the Immigration Department of Malaysia through MyTravelPass / MyEntry (https://www.imi.gov.my) for Malaysian Permanent Resident, Long Term Pass holders, business travellers and investors, provided that, among others, the following are being complied with:

• A valid Malaysian Visa; fully vaccinated (WHO approved vaccines), a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result; and to undergo mandatory quarantine in accordance with the latest ruling as issued by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia through https://www.covid-19.moh.gov.my/