Immigration authorities quietly published criteria that will allow some foreign residents to re-enter Japan despite a coronavirus-induced entry ban covering 111 countries, a restriction that has left many foreign residents stranded abroad.

In a note in Japanese and English and buried in a document published Friday evening on its website, the Immigration Services Agency listed specific examples of medical issues and family-related circumstances that will allow foreign residents stranded overseas to return to Japan regardless of their visa status. While immigration officials had said they have been allowing re-entry on humanitarian grounds, Friday’s announcement is the first that clarifies such special circumstances.

It said that people who have been separated from their family due to the restriction will be allowed to re-enter, while foreign residents who departed with children enrolled in Japanese educational institutions, who are now unable to attend classes, will also be given permission to return.