Abe likely to be quarantine-free upon return from G7 summit


The government is considering exempting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from self-quarantine following a summit of Group of Seven leaders, expected to take place in the United States in late August, sources said Monday.

The government currently asks all people entering Japan to self-quarantine for two weeks in the fight against the coronavirus.

The exemption is designed to help Abe address a host of issues smoothly, the sources said.

The government also aims to apply such a quarantine exemption when foreign dignitaries come to Japan, the sources said.

It is expected to set some conditions for making Abe quarantine-free, including a negative polymerase chain reaction test result upon return from the United States.

The conditions are also expected to include limiting meeting venues in the United States and avoiding the use of public transportation and contact with the general public there.

When U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun visited Japan earlier this month, Tokyo exempted him from quarantine upon arrival under similar conditions.

The government is currently working on rules for such exemptions as it is preparing to resume exchanges of senior officials and other dignitaries with foreign countries.

A visit to Britain by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, expected to take place in early August, is likely to be the first case subject to the rules.

In the United States and Europe, two-week self-quarantine is basically waived for government leaders if they test negative for the coronavirus in PCR tests upon return, according to a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official.

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