Japan will relax from October its border restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus to allow entry for new visa applicants other than tourists from all regions.

The change was announced Friday during a meeting of the government’s subcommittee on the virus and was set to be approved at the subsequent meeting of the government’s virus task force, in a long-anticipated move to relax the nation’s strict travel restrictions. The restrictions were introduced in April as a temporary border control measure aimed at curbing transmission of the virus.

Under the existing travel controls, travelers from 159 countries and regions have been denied entry in principle.