Japanese entry restrictions are progressively becoming less strict. While the current limit is around 3,500 new entries per day, it will soon be increased to 5,000 foreign visitors.
The Japanese Border, More and More Lenient?
Last month, the Japanese authorities announced what many people were waiting for: a relaxation of the conditions of access to the country for foreigners. Everyone was concerned, except for foreign tourists.
In reality, the relaxation did not really happen. The conditions to enter Japan are extremely strict, and in fact, very few people took advantage of the measure. Companies were disappointed and recently, the 7 main Chambers of Commerce and Industry (USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Europe) issued a statement urging Japan to simplify its procedures.
An expansion of the quota of people allowed to enter the Japanese territory was just reported: from November 26, 5,000 people will be allowed to disembark at airports. This concerns once again businessmen, students, and technical trainees.
As a reminder, the mandatory quarantine period was recently reduced from 10 to 3 days for business travelers with a vaccination passport. It is also necessary to enter the country for a minimum stay of 3 months.
When Will Japan Allow Tourists to Return?
For the moment, no official information has been given for an easing of entry requirements for tourism in Japan. It is likely that this will not happen before the spring of 2022. Indeed, it was recently announced that the “Go to Travel” domestic travel campaign will restart in February 2022.
Two conclusions can be drawn from the announcement: the first one, positive, is that the number of COVID cases have decreased in Japan. This means that it is now possible to travel, to use the different means of transport and to go to all the provinces without many difficulties. But to take advantage of traveling, you have to be at least a Japanese resident.
The second aspect of this announcement, less positive, is the postponement of the authorization of foreign visitors to enter Japan for leisure purposes. Looking at the main decisions taken by the Japanese government during the last two years, it is almost certain that it will not allow local tourism with the “Go to Travel” campaign and foreign tourism with an easing of entry conditions at the same time.
Thus, we will have to wait until the “Go to Travel” campaign ends, and especially until it has a good impact. In case of a new wave of contamination, it is obvious that it will not be possible to travel to Japan in the summer of 2022 as a tourist, for example.
What Will Be the Conditions for Traveling to Japan as a Tourist?
When foreign visitors will be allowed to visit Japan for short stays, they will have to meet a number of conditions set by the Japanese health authorities. They should be almost identical to those already in force for a few weeks.
All travelers, including Japanese nationals, must present a certificate of negative COVID-19 test results 72 hours prior to departure (regardless of origin).
Since November 8, 2021, travelers authorized to enter or re-enter Japan who have stayed in certain countries or regions in the 14 days preceding their arrival may, under certain conditions, benefit from a period of isolation reduced to 3 days, as an exception to the 10-day period for vaccinated persons and a 14-day period for non-vaccinated persons that remains the new norm.