Japan to Ease Travel Restrictions for Foreign Tourists in September - Border Opening

Japan takes another tiny step to ease travel restrictions for international travelers. From September, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests.

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All travelers are eagerly awaiting a day once Japan finally opens its borders to tourists. The country's authorities have been keeping travel restrictions in place since 2020. 

Only recently, particular travelers have been permitted to visit Japan. However, they must still meet specific entry requirements to gain access to the country. 

Now, the Japanese Government announced loosening restrictions in September 2022 and allowing non-guided tour groups.

Last week, the country also opened the eVisa application for citizens of the US and Canada. 

Current rules for entering Japan

Currently, the stage of Japanese reopening can be described as a testing period. In April, Japan first reopened its borders to particular overseas residents, international students, and business travelers who a school or company must have sponsored. 

The next stage was to allow limited numbers of foreign tourists, which are still permitted to enter only in a package tour following pre-departure testing requirements.

At the moment, all travelers to Japan need to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure time.

Depending on the departure country, some travelers may also be subject to quarantine restrictions. The Japanese authorities divided worldwide countries into color categories, i.e., 'red,' 'yellow,' and 'blue.' A traveler who has received three coronavirus jabs and is coming from a country classified as 'red' or 'yellow' will need to undergo a 3-day quarantine. Arrivals from 'blue' countries are exempt from on-arrival quarantine. 

Changes in Japan's travel rules from September 2022

From September 7, 2022, the country plans to drop pre-departure testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers (including one booster dose). 

The country is also about to increase the daily cap of tourists allowed to enter Japan from 20,000 to 50,000. 

Nevertheless, despite loosening restrictions in September, travelers will still need to sign a form promising they will comply with local coronavirus protocol. They will also need to complete an online questionnaire, take a PCR test on arrival and download a health monitoring app. 

Opening the Japanese borders to individual travelers 

For the time being, visiting Japan is possible only as part of a group tour. Individual travelers are temporarily not permitted to enter Japan. Nevertheless, the Japanese Government announced that non-guided package tours will be allowed from September 7, 2022. The country, however, has not yet specified the details. 

Please note that the entry regulations are constantly changing, and allowing individual travelers to Japan is just a matter of time. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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