Japan bans foreign travellers from S'pore & 110 other countries over Covid-19

A trip to Japan appears highly unlikely at the moment.

Matthias Ang | May 29, 2020, 04:19 PM

Singaporeans are unlikely to be able travel to Japan anytime soon.

According to the website of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), foreign travellers who have been in Singapore for the past 14 days will be denied entry into Japan.

Thus far, a total of 111 countries, including Singapore, are subjected to this ban.

In addition, the visa exemption measure for Singapore is also suspended until the end of June, with a chance of the suspension being renewed.

However, no date has been given for when the entry ban on Singapore will end.

Japanese returning from Singapore to be subjected to 14-day quarantine

As for Japanese nationals returning from one of the 111 banned countries, they must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a designated location.

They will also be subjected to PCR tests and must refrain from using public transportation until the last day of June.

Foreign visitors to Japan have fallen by over 90 per cent last 2 months

According to Kyodo News, foreign visitors to the country have fallen sharply since February when Japan started banning foreign travellers from China's Hubei Province and South Korea, over the outbreak of Covid-19.

That month, the number of visitors fell by 58 per cent from a year earlier to 989,741.

The figure then fell by 94 per cent in March to 152,162, and by 99 per cent in April to 1,256.

Previously in 2019, a record number of 28.4 million tourists visited Japan.

Japan looks towards stimulating domestic tourism

Japan is looking towards stimulating its own domestic tourism.

Recently, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has come out to publicly debunk claims that the Japanese government is offering to help foreign tourists by paying half of their travel expenses as part of a "Go to Travel Campaign".

Rather, the "Go to Travel Campaign" is "under consideration by the Japanese government" and the expressed purpose is to "stimulate domestic travel demand within Japan" and "only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses" after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative is expected to begin as early as late July.

Top photo by Nagi Usano via Flickr