The Japanese government has continued strict entry restrictions for essentially all foreigners due to COVID-19. At the same time, there have been heated debates amongst government officials and Japanese business groups on whether and how to loosen the entry restrictions for business travel, which have impacted both global business and the Japanese economy since the restrictions first came into effect. While the national emergency declaration has been extended to the end of September for many regions in Japan, the country’s high vaccination rates and declining surge of delta variant infection rates have added to this debate.

On September 6, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) issued a set of proposals calling for, among other items, exemption from the mandatory 14 day quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers and an overall decrease in length of quarantine to 10 days regardless of vaccination status (available here in Japanese). Indications are that these recommendations may be accepted. Although a small step, the Japanese government is taking measures to ease entry into Japan while closely monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and public opinion.

Currently, all entrants into Japan (regardless of nationality or vaccination status) are subject to a 14 day quarantine which, depending on an individual’s travel history for the 14 days prior to arrival into Japan, includes a mandatory government-designated quarantine for a certain number of days. The “business track” entry into Japan from certain countries remains suspended and the issuance of new visas has largely continued to be halted as well.

Please check the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the most recent updates on which countries and US states are subject to which quarantine measures.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

Starting October 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require applicants for a US green card or immigrant visa to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to receiving all other previously required vaccines. Applicants must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination with all required doses as part of their medical examinations, whether conducted in the US or abroad.

Here are some key points to keep in mind in anticipation of this new policy:

Continue Reading CDC to Require COVID-19 Vaccination for Green Card Applicants

In response to COVID-19 outbreaks, some Australian states and territories have enacted new restrictions and closed their borders. These restrictions include mandatory quarantines, COVID-19 tests, and the completion of either declaration or registration forms. Australia has remained closed to international travelers, unless you are an Australia citizen, resident, immediate family member, or meet a specified exemption. If returning home to Australia or if an exception is met, travelers from oversees, with the exception of travelers from New Zealand who meet eligibility criteria, are required to quarantine at their port of arrival for 14 days at a government-designated accommodation.  Continue reading on Mayer Brown’s The Mobile Workforce blog.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

Taiwan continues suspending the entry of visitors and resident visa holders until July 16.  Only foreign nationals with an Alien Resident Certificate are permitted to enter. Exceptions are being considered on a case-by-case basis for emergencies and on humanitarian grounds.  Continue reading on Mayer Brown’s The Mobile Workforce blog.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

Starting September 1st, 2021, Korean immigration will require visa waiver entrants (traveling for tourism or business) to obtain an electronic travel authorization, known as, K-ETA, at least 24 hours prior to travel.  Currently, K-ETA is an optional program but will become mandatory on September 1st.  Continue reading on Mayer Brown’s The Mobile Workforce blog.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

 

Chile continues suspending the entry of foreign nationals due to the outbreak of Coronavirus until July 25, 2021. Exemptions have been carved out, including specific procedures for companies to apply for a a safe conduct (“Salvoconducto”) to allow entry to the country for essential or critical personnel. Continue reading on Mayer Brown’s Mobile Workforce blog.

 

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

Effective at midnight on June 24, 2021, travelers from New York, Connecticut, Iowa and Rhode Island will no longer be subject to Japan’s stricter quarantine measures to prevent the spread of delta variant infections as previously discussed.  Also effective on June 24, travelers from the Arkansas, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and certain other countries will be subject to the stricter quarantine measures.  The two week self quarantine still applies to all entrants to Japan regardless of nationality or visa status.  Further details regarding the stricter quarantine measures are available here and here.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

Effective June 14, travelers from California, Oakland, Nebraska and a few countries are no longer subject to the previously discussed stricter quarantine measures.  On the other hand, also effective June 14, travelers from Washington, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and certain other countries will be subject to such stricter quarantine measures.  Japan is in a fluid state and is updating the quarantine measures for travelers coming into the country on an almost daily basis based on the infection rates of US states and countries.  Such measures are all a result of ongoing fluctuations in COVID variant infection rates globally.

For further details, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website for up-to-date information regarding the entry restrictions and quarantine measures.  Visa restrictions and entry restrictions will continue to apply for the foreseeable future.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.

From June 4, 2021, the Japanese government is to implement stricter quarantine measures for travelers from New York, California, Nevada and 12 other states, as well as certain other countries, due to COVID variant infection rates.  Under the stricter quarantine measures, travelers from the applicable states and countries (regardless of nationality) will be required to stay in a government-designated facility (i.e., hotel room quarantine) for three days and, pending a negative COVID test result, are permitted to spend the remaining 11 days in self-quarantine at a place of their choice.  Such measures will also be in place for travelers from Thailand and Germany effective June 4 and have already been in place for travelers from the Netherlands, France, Denmark and other countries.

Continue Reading Stricter Quarantine Measures into Japan a Surprise for Travelers from US States such as New York, California and Others

The Japanese government has announced that the state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and seven other prefectures, currently slated to end on May 31, 2021, will be extended through June 20 as a result of the ongoing high rate of COVID variant infections.  Foreign entry into the country and visa applications will continue in principle to be restricted indefinitely, although athletes and other Olympic-related personnel will be specially exempt from the restrictions into entry.  The Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.  Despite ongoing debate both domestically and internationally as to whether the Olympics should go forward, current indications from both the national government and the IOC suggest it will proceed as planned.

***

If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.