The Japanese government on Wednesday announced it will partially roll back entry restrictions as part of its coronavirus countermeasures on foreign nationals, allowing students and business workers with valid legal status to be gradually readmitted to the country.

The rule change will affect just under 200,000 foreign nationals seeking to enter Japan. Those eligible will comprise about 103,000 permanent residents, long-term residents and spouses of Japanese nationals or permanent residents. Those permanent residents as well as long-term residents had been able to return to Japan if they had left the country before the ban was introduced or on humanitarian grounds, such as a relative’s death or a health emergency.

But with this announcement, about 88,000 high-skilled workers and students who had left Japan with permission to re-enter before the entry ban was imposed would also be eligible to be readmitted. Of the 88,000, about 42 percent are from China, 11 percent from Vietnam and about 3 percent from the United States. Those who left Japan after the ban are not covered by the updated regulation.