Photo/Illutration COVID-19 travel restrictions have left the immigration control section empty at Kansai International Airport on Sept. 30. (Shoichiro Inoue)

Japan plans to allow short-term business travelers, foreign students and technical intern trainees to enter the country under certain conditions but will continue to bar tourists as an anti-COVID-19 measure, government sources said.

The government is expected to announce the long-awaited eased travel restrictions this week before they take effect by the end of this month at the earliest, the sources said.

The businesspeople on short-term visits must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will have to quarantine for three days after their arrival.

The foreign students and technical intern trainees will still have to self-quarantine for up to 14 days after arrival.

Government officials are also discussing shortening the self-quarantine period for Japanese businesspeople who return from abroad.

However, the government is not considering relaxing border controls for tourists.

Arrivals will still be capped at 3,500 a day, and the government could tighten the restrictions if the number of novel coronavirus infections rises at home or overseas.

Japan suspended entries of foreigners, in principle, in January, except for “special” cases, such as those on humanitarian grounds.

Industry groups have called on the government to loosen its border controls to permit essential business trips.

Overseas students have also argued that it is unfair to be kept out of Japan even after enrolling at schools in the country.