Japan To Reopen to Foreign Travelers From June 10

Japan announced that it would reopen its borders to international tourists after being closed for two years from June 10, local authorities said.

The country implemented some of the world’s strictest entry controls to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic, even banning international entries for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, Japanese authorities allowed entry to international students in Mid-march. Also, they recently raised the foreign entry limit to 20,000 from June 1 after relaxing travel restrictions for foreign residents and business travelers.

Now, in its most significant step towards easing restrictions, the Japanese government announced that the country would reopen to visitors from 98 countries and regions, including the UK, Australia, US, Thailand, Canada, Spain, France, and Malaysia.

But Japanese officials have clarified that some controls would remain despite the reopening.

Tourists who want to visit Japan must be part of a tour group, test negative for Covid-19 before traveling, and be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Moreover, the countries and regions that can send travelers to Japan have been divided into three risk categories: red, yellow, and blue.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the three risk categories determine whether visitors must quarantine upon arrival or are enable to bypass some strict requirements.

The government also said the border controls revision included an increase in the number of airports that can accept international flights. Now, Naha in Japan’s southern Okinawa prefecture and New Chitose near Sapporo in northern Hokkaido join the group of seven airports open to foreign arrivals.

Worldwide travel agencies have warmly welcomed the reopening news after tourist arrivals fell by more than 90% in 2020.

Japan Journey’s managing director James Greenfield said: “The Japanese government is being very cautious. They want the first tourists to enter on guided tours and we’re ready to do this and to do whatever is necessary to keep our customers happy and to recover some income after more than two years without any.”

Also, Intrepid Travel’s managing director Zina Bencheikh said that international tourists had shown a lot of interest in visiting Japan despite the strict restrictions, meaning the country can see a rush in bookings as borders reopen.