Japan to open borders for tourists for the first time since pandemic


For the first time since the pandemic year of 2020, Japan is going to open its borders for tourists. The government said on Tuesday (March 17) that it will first allow small groups from this month.

Japan has been closed to almost all tourists since the spring of 2020.

Authorities only recently began allowing some students and business visitors to enter.

Presently, there are no plans to lift border restrictions fully. The trial would allow small groups from US, Australia, Thailand and Singapore. Tourists in these groups would have to have opted for package tours with predetermined itineraries.

“Japanese travel companies will organise the tours and local guides will accompany them,” an Japan Tourism Agency official told AFP.

Participants will have to be triple-vaccinated against Covid and have private medical insurance.

There will be no change to the current testing requirements for entering Japan, with visitors having to submit a negative Covid test taken 72 hours before departure and to test again upon arrival.

The agency is currently discussing the plan with regions that are expected to be of interest to foreign tourists, the official said. 

How many tourists will be able to join each tour is yet to be decided.


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