In the latest development, Japan will start experimenting with a new standard of travel. For this, he has identified four countries from which fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed to enter Japan.
A report published by Fuji News Network on May 6, 2022 said the government aimed to ease border restrictions and allow small groups of vaccinated tourists from May in a bid to help the country’s travel and tourism industry.
While there are a number of land restrictions in place, this announcement is positive news for the tourism sector which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
All about the easing of travel restrictions in Japan in 2022:
Who can enter Japan?
On May 17, 2022, the Japan Tourism Agency announced that as part of this trial project to “test tourism” and open borders to leisure travelers, the country will accept visitors from the United States. , Australia, Thailand and Singapore. They are considered low risk countries for COVID-19 and are major tourism markets for Japan.
The government had previously said that visitors would only be allowed to enter the country if they met all the criteria set by the government. Those planning to travel must take all three COVID-19 vaccines, purchase their own travel insurance, and be part of a package tour with a fixed itinerary. Although no specification has been made on the wearing of masks, the government is urging everyone to wear them. In fact, as many residents as possible continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors.
Additionally, tourists will be continuously monitored for the spread of cases. Only if there is no increase in positive cases will the program be further expanded. Although border regulations were relaxed slightly to allow foreign students and business people earlier, tourists were not allowed entry.
Government announcement and deliberations
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said authorities planned to open borders, like other countries, from June. In his speech in London, Kishida also said he would first provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Japan after the Golden Week holidays in late April and early May.
According to a Bloomberg report, on May 5, 2022, Kishida said, “As of June, based on expert advice, we will review coronavirus regulations, including border policies, in stages.”
Boost for Japan’s tourism sector
Japan’s tourism industry has been calling for the government for some time to ease border and travel restrictions in 2022 and attract foreign visitors to take advantage of a weakened yen.
Prior to the pandemic, traveler numbers in the country had quintupled between 2011 and 2019. However, China – which has historically been the biggest source of tourists to Japan – has currently closed its borders due to a spike in cases. The aforementioned report also mentions: “Several tourism-related stocks gained on the news. Japan Airlines climbed 4.5%, while Japan Airport Terminal jumped 6.8%. Travel agency HIS, an industry indicator, erased an early morning loss and rose 2.7%.”
Prime Minister Kishida had kept borders open only to students and trade officials and limited the daily influx of foreign nationals to 10,000, excluding tourists. Now the government intends to increase the limit to 20,000 and also accept tourists.
(Main and feature image credit: David Edelstein/ @jlhopes/ Unsplash)
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