Japan and Vietnam will allow short-term business travel with each other. Other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore, Japan and Thailand are gradually easing some international travel restrictions as coronavirus cases slow.
International travel in Asia has collapsed during the pandemic because of border closures, with passenger numbers down 97 per cent in August, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Related: Japan removes overseas travel ban to Vietnam
In Asia the trend is toward easing travel restrictions, though not always on a bilateral basis.
A Singapore-Indonesia deal announced on Monday for essential business and official travel will require an application and COVID-19 swab tests both before and after travel.
Singapore had established similar agreements with China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and opened unilaterally to general visitors from New Zealand, Brunei, Vietnam and most of Australia.
But Singapore transport minister Ong Ye Kung said in parliament this month that the number of travelers remained small, with the country’s main airport serving 1.5 per cent of its usual passenger volume.
New Zealanders will be able to travel to some parts of Australia starting on Friday without quarantining, including to New South Wales, Canberra and the Northern Territory.
However, New Zealanders who return from Australia must quarantine for two weeks under government supervision at the cost of NZ$3100 ($A2900) for the first person and more for additional family members.
New Zealand, due to hold an election on October 17, has said it does not plan open its borders to Australians for now.
Australia is also in talks with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and South Pacific nations on reopening travel as coronavirus infections ease.
Japan and Vietnam will allow short-term business travel with each other, the Yomiuri daily said on Saturday.
The pact, which will take effect by the end of October at the earliest, follows similar steps to ease business travel restrictions to Singapore and South Korea, the paper added.
Japan is also planning to remove a ban on overseas travel to China and 11 other countries and regions including Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia next month, the Yomiuri said, though it would still advise against non-essential travel.
Many of the countries to which Japan will reportedly allow travel ban most non-citizens and non-residents from entering.
Japan allows citizens, residents, and visa holders to re-enter the country after testing negative for COVID-19 at the airport, with a capacity of about 10,000 per day.
Thailand plans to receive the first groups of more than 100 Chinese tourists this month, according to Thai tourism authorities.
They will be subject to pre-flight testing and a 14-day self-paid quarantine at government-approved hotels, where they will be tested for COVID twice.
The tourists will also need to download a GPS and Bluetooth based tracking app that has not yet been launched.
China, where the outbreak originated, last month allowed foreigners with valid residence permits to re-enter the country and it has set up business travel corridors with Singapore and South Korea but most arrivals remain banned.
By Jamie Freed/ 7news/ AAP