Japan Allows Non-Guided Tour Entries, Raises Max Daily Entries to 50,000

The Japanese government said on Wednesday that it will increase the daily cap on admissions to 50,000 beginning on September 7. The government will also start to welcome travelers without local advisers.

To enter Japan, however, foreigners will still need "sponsors" or a contact at a Japanese travel agency, according to a tourism ministry official.

The government is removing restrictions, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in order to take part in the expansion of global trade and profit from the yen's depreciation. He continued by saying that in order to comply with international norms, he is thinking about easing limitations even more.

The government announced last Monday that it is thinking about removing the need for passengers who have received at least three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to have a negative COVID-19 test (including one booster). Travelers (including returning Japanese citizens and residents) are currently required to submit the negative outcomes of a test performed 72 hours before to boarding a flight in order to enter Japan.

On March 1, Japan started to relax its COVID-19 admission requirements for foreign students and business visitors (if they had sponsors). Additionally, the government reduced the COVID-19 quarantine period from seven to three days, and raised the number of persons (including Japanese and foreign nationals) who are permitted to enter from 3,500 to 5,000 daily. On March 14, the administration increased the daily maximum to 7,000, and  again to 10,000 on April 10.

The government increased the daily maximum allowed entry into the country from 10,000 to 20,000 persons, and on June 10 solely opened tourism to guided tour groups.

Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 Omicron strain, border controls were implemented in late November. In attempt to stop the spread, the Japanese government had also prolonged the border restrictions through February and put a moratorium on new foreign arrivals.

Early in the epidemic in 2020, Japan forbade access to any and all international visitors.




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