Japan opens up to more foreign visitors, but guided tours are mandatory

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to open the country's borders with some caution.

Irwan Shah | June 07, 2022, 08:15 PM

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On June 7, 2022, the Japanese government announced the rules for its reopening to tourists as the country officially eased its Covid-19 restrictions after two years.

According to Reuters, foreign tourists will need to meet the following criteria while visiting the country:

  1. Don masks, including in outdoor situations where crowds gather.
  2. Have private medical insurance.
  3. Be chaperoned during their visit.

Only visitors on packaged tours allowed

The first phase of Japan's reopening on Jun. 10 only allows tourists who are part of a packaged tour to enter the country, said the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA).

Travel agency guides will need to remind tourists to don their masks while accompanying the tour group.

"Even outdoors, the wearing of masks should continue in situations where people are conversing in close proximity," JTA was cited by Reuters as saying.

They will also need to inform the tourists about infection prevention measures.

Japan slowly relaxing rules

Japan is aiming to bring its border measures in line with other developed nations, having maintained a strict slate of Covid-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic.

Previously in May, Japan conducted "test tours" with foreign tourists from the U.S., Australia, Thailand, and Singapore, Nikkei Asia reported.

Japan revealed earlier on May 26, that only visitors from 98 countries and territories — categorised as low risk — will be allowed to enter the country.

According to Nikkei Asia, the visitors will be exempt from testing and vaccination requirements when they arrive in Japan, regardless of their vaccination status.

However, before arriving they will need to have tested negative for Covid-19 72 hours or less before departure.

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Top photo from Aleksandar Pasaric.