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Updates On Japan's Travel Policy

Writer: Carin Audrey | Illustrator: Kinar Nisa | Editor: Kinar Nisa

As the world starts to shift towards a ‘New Normal’, the restrictions for travel bans have also been relaxed for multiple countries. But, that doesn’t mean that travel restrictions have been completely removed from multiple countries. Alongside that, in the near future, it seems that residents of Japan with special circumstances can come back to Japan. Many international students are still stuck in their home country, wondering if they can travel to Japan for the next semester. We’ve compiled all current information of travel restrictions, read along to see if you can come to the APU campus for the fall semester!

Japan has placed a travel restriction for 146 countries, including Indonesia. What the travel restriction means is that if you traveled to or resided in any of the countries that are in Japan’s travel restriction list for the past fourteen days, you will not be permitted entrance to the country. This travel restriction was placed to help curb the number of COVID-19 infections inside of the country. Though, Japan has decided to slowly ease its travel restriction, starting with granting foreign nationals who left before the entry ban permit to return.

Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on the 29th of July stated that they will slowly ease back on the restrictions, starting with international students and workers with a valid legal status to be readmitted to the country. This includes those with a permanent resident as well as long-term resident permits. But, before they can return back to Japan they must have passed a virus test, such as the PCR coronavirus test, a “Letter of Confirmation”, and self-isolation upon arrival are requirements for foreign residents. Virus testing for foreign residents needs to be done 72 hours prior to boarding their flight to Japan. But, it’s important to note that these terms are also only applicable for foreign nationals with a ‘re-entry’ permit with a date before a country or region of the area became a subject of denial of landing.

While in Indonesia, there has been a strict travel ban in place to grant foreigners entrance into the country. Citizens who wish to re-enter the country have to undergo strict protocols. These include PCR tests, health checks in the airports, and self-quarantine 14 days after arrival in Indonesia. Though, it seems that due to the low number of tourists and the economic condition in the country, the government is eager to re-open its borders, especially so for regions that rely heavily on its tourism like Bali.

With this, international students who are currently residing in Indonesia with a re-entry permit from before the travel restriction has been placed are able to enter Japan. Which means that you would be able to join the new hybrid classes in APU. Though, students who haven’t entered Japan and/or don’t have a valid re-entry permit sadly are not able to enter Japan until further notice. Indonesian citizens who are currently residing in Japan can come back to Indonesia as long as you make sure that you are healthy, have done the proper health examinations, as well as having the proper documents to ensure a safe trip home.

By the 20th of August 2020, Indonesia has reached 147,000 cases of COVID-19. It seems likely that until the number of cases has significantly decreased, the chances of new students coming for the fall semester are pretty slim.

There have been new cases popping up all around Japan, Beppu included. Let’s all go back inside and only go out only when necessary, with the proper precautions of course, and continue to stay updated with the news. For those in Japan, don’t forget to download the COCOA application on your mobile devices so you can be updated if there are anyone infected in an area near you. Make sure to keep your distance, wash your hands, and do your best to keep your body in tip-top shape. We can do this together!

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