The Nikkei Business Daily has reported that Japan plans to allow “large scale” numbers of international visitors into the country ahead of the Summer Olympics, scheduled to be held in Tokyo in July/August 2021.
These visitors from other nations will reportedly be allowed to enter Japan without a COVID vaccine or mandatory vaccinations. Instead, they’ll be required to show proof of a negative test result and to download a smartphone tracking app upon arrival in the country.
About the app:
Visitors will be asked to use the health ministry’s Cocoa contact-tracing app along with a new app that links visas, proof of test results, tickets and other information to a unique ID for each person. While users can voluntarily leave a record of the locations they have visited on their own devices, Japan will not take more invasive measures such as GPS tracking.
They’re also considering using QR codes that travelers could scan at places such as hotels and restaurants. With those, there would be better records of where they’ve been, should someone contract the virus and contact tracing need to begin. The app, which will be available in multiple languages, may also include a feature to allow users to track their physical condition, so they could let authorities know if they become symptomatic for COVID.
Those who refuse testing or the app will, of course, need to quarantine for two weeks.
An unnamed source said the government is also considering requiring international visitors to take out private medical insurance before arriving in Japan. This would be for those coming to the Olympics, as well as regular tourists. They want to make sure that hospitals are reimbursed should tourists catch COVID and need medical attention. They would join the list of several countries that require foreign visitors to have COVID insurance.
The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to occur during the summer of 2020 but were rescheduled to 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Over 11,000 athletes are expected to participate. Roughly one million tickets to the rescheduled games have been sold to international sports fans and more than four and a half million to Japanese residents.
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