EU agrees to allow non-essential travel from Japan

European Union member nations have agreed to re-add Japan to their list of countries from which non-essential travel is allowed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The current list includes seven countries, including Australia and South Korea. Japan was removed in January following a surge in cases.

The agreement was reached at an ambassador-level meeting on Wednesday. It could be formally adopted as early as this week.

Sources familiar with the matter say the agreement was reached based on the situation in Japan which members saw as stable compared to EU countries.

But immigration control is left to each EU member, and each country can decide whether to demand negative COVID-19 test certificates for travelers from Japan, and require them to undergo a period of quarantine.

The EU also plans to introduce a uniform vaccination certificate system in July as it prepares to gradually lift travel restrictions ahead of the summer tourism season.