As many as 450 Japanese experts and businessmen have boarded the first commercial flights post-pandemic to Vietnam between Thursday and Saturday as the two countries begin to relax travel restrictions on a mutual basis, Japanese media have reported.
The first of these flights, organized by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines with support from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in Vietnam, carried 150 Japanese experts to Vietnam from Japan on Thursday, the Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV reported.
The flight departed from Narita International Airport near Tokyo and landed at Van Don International Airport in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh on Thursday afternoon.
All passengers wore protective suits and informed authorities of their medical status upon entry.
They had their body temperature scanned and their luggage sanitized.
They will be quarantined for 14 days at hotels as per Vietnam's existing regulations on prevention and control of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corporation said that 130 employees of its factory in Vietnam were on the flight.
“I am more relieved than happy. We will now have the human resources we need to restart our operations,” Sharp Manufacturing Vietnam chairman Wada Kazuhito told Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
Another flight touched down in Vietnam on Friday while one more trip was scheduled for Saturday, bringing a total of about 450 Japanese businesspeople to the Southeast Asian country in three days, the Japanese media reported.
Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22 and suspended international commercial flights from March 25 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Japan is closed to foreign visitors from more than 100 countries and territories.
Vietnam is the first country that Japan has eased pandemic-related travel restrictions, the NHK said.
The two countries agreed on June 19 to phase out travel restrictions for business people only in the pilot period of the travel relaxation.