Japan to Reopen to Foreign Tourists
Japan has announced plans to reopen to tourists this summer. Strict border measures were introduced in the country due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the Japanese government plans to ease restrictions to bring Japan on par with other G-7 nations, i.e., Germany, France, Canada, the EU, the UK, and the US.
The first trial will allow the Japanese government to prepare for the full reopening in the following months. Firstly, Japan plans to welcome travelers from Singapore, Australia, the United States, and Thailand.
Who can enter Japan
Currently, 10,000 new arrivals are allowed to cross the Japanese border per day. Among the eligible travelers are Japanese citizens and residents, students, researchers, residents' family members as well as business travelers. However, all of them need to obtain prior approval to enter Japan.
Leisure tourists are not yet allowed. To find out more about the countries eligible for traveling to Japan, check here.
Current entry restrictions
At the moment, the Japanese entry rules are quite complicated. Schools and companies must sponsor individuals wishing to enter Japan. Everyone entering Japan must have a Covid-19 test report taken 72 hours prior to departure, a signed copy of the form with a promise to comply with local coronavirus rules, and a completed online declaration. After arrival in Japan, travelers must take another PCR test and download a health monitoring app.
Those travelers who have received three Covid-19 jabs will need to self-isolate at their accommodation for the first 3 days after arrival, and then they will need to take another test. If it is positive, a person will need to continue isolation for another 7 days.
Unvaccinated travelers or those who have received fewer than 3 jabs are subject to the same protocol, but they must isolate in a hotel.
The Japanese Government has not revealed yet the new entry protocol for tourists. The entry rules will be probably announced together with the specific date of the reopening to tourism.
At the moment, every foreign citizen eligible to enter Japan must visit the Japanese Embassy or other diplomatic post to obtain a relevant visa for Japan. When it comes to tourist visas to Japan, its holder may stay up to 30 days, while the visa is issued for 90 days.
The visa application procedures require a traveler to visit Embassy in person and provide supporting documents, including a passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months.
The online application for a tourist visa to Japan was already planned to be implemented. Its introduction, however, had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Once the country opens fully to tourism, introducing the Japan eVisa system is very probable.
Covid-19 situation in Japan
Japan has reported over 8,000,000 Covid-19 confirmed cases, of which over 29,000 were fatal. The health ministry in Japan has announced plans to allow prefectures to allow younger patients to take self-administer RATs and isolate themselves at home without waiting for a medical diagnosis. In turn, older residents are highly recommended to take a fourth Covid-19 vaccine shot.
Until recently, patients had to be diagnosed by a doctor, and every positive case was reported to the government. The new policy will enable patients to contact local public health centers on their own, which will help to reduce the number of persons visiting health centers and hospitals.