Latest Coronavirus News From Japan
Last updated 18 May 2022, 00:00 GMT
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced during a conference in London that Japan will be easing border restrictions in June, in line with other G7 countries (Kyodo News). What will this mean for tourists? The government is planning to make a decision on lifting the current restrictions on international tourism by May 20th (Nikkei Asia).
One piece of good news in the meantime is that the government is planning to conduct several small-scale group tours in late May, ahead of the June reopening. These carefully-monitored tours are test tours limited to industry professionals, and will provide a chance for the government to assess the impact of tourism and ensure adequate COVID measures are in place prior to the resumption of large-scale tourism (NHK World).
While Japan temporarily closed its border to new entries in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant, entry rules for Japanese citizens and residents were eased in April as case numbers continued to drop. The daily cap on entrants contines to be relaxed - the latest announcement is for up to 20,000 new arrivals daily beginning in June. (Kyodo News)
We expect more exciting developments in the coming weeks - keep checking back to this page for the latest updates as we receive them. You can find full details relating to travel to Japan on the official Japanese Travel website – Japan Travel.
Although Japan’s borders are still closed to tourists, the overall outlook is encouraging: the Japanese government in continually relaxing border restrictions. While the arrival of the Omicron variant has meant cases were very high over January and February, severe cases continue to be very low and there are signs the peak may have been passed (NHK World).
Meanwhile, vaccinations are full steam ahead with 80.67% of Japan's population fully vaccinated. Booster shots are rolling out at an ever-increasing rate, with the government announcing on April 11 that over 50% of the general population and 86.9% of the over-65s have received theirs (Kyodo News).
At the time of writing, Japan has recorded over 8.4 million positive cases of coronavirus during the course of the pandemic. (Covid19Japan).
While foreign travel to Japan is currently not permitted except for special circumstances, the success of Japan's vaccination program and planned loosening of border restrictions means that there is a genuine prospect that travel will be possible in the near future.