Authorities in Japan have decided to lift all remaining travel restrictions. The country will allow visa-free, independent tourism and remove its daily arrival cap restrictions, including the limit on arrivals. This was announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at a press conference last Thursday in response to the need to boost the sector: “Japan will relax border control measures to be on par with the United States, in addition to resuming visa-free travel and individual travel”.
The country will drop the restrictions it imposed since the start of the pandemic and had gradually begun to relax. After almost two and a half years of strict regulations on visiting the country, this summer it allowed group travel and in September the possibility of moving around the country without a guide, although it was still limited to those who organized their stay through an agency that helped them obtain a visa.
From October 11th we will remove the limit on the number of entries to the country and open up to individual and visa-free travel.Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Prime Minister
In early September, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference that the government would study how to ease Covid-19 restrictions in Japan, while “maintaining a balance between preventing the spread of infection and (promoting) social and economic activities.”
Likewise, the reopening on June 10 was made with a daily limit of no more than 20,000 travelers. In September it reached 50,000, but as of October 11, it will remove all entry restrictions. Also, no negative PCR test is required for vaccinated travelers arriving in Japan. If not fully vaccinated, testing will still be required within 72 hours prior to travel.
“From October 11 we will remove the limit on the number of entries to the country and also open up to individual and visa-free travel,” Kishida said during his participation in the UN General Assembly. These new measures will be accompanied by a tourism promotion campaign to revive the sector after two and a half years.
In the wake of the pandemic, the Japanese government had suspended its short-term visa waiver for up to 3 months with a total of 68 countries. They will now be reinstated, allowing these travelers to visit the country freely.
In May of this year, authorities started a pilot test to “analyze the safety” of destinations, allowing the entry of tourists from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore, according to the announcement of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Travelers had to have the full vaccination schedule and the booster dose, and were only allowed to visit delimited areas, where contagions are not high.