Latest Coronavirus News From Japan
Last updated 10 August 2022, 09:00 BST
Like many other countries, Japan is currently battling a seventh wave of coronavirus, but rates have peaked and are coming down (Japan Times). Based on this trend, daily infections should be back to very low levels by September (Mainichi News).
Although the number may appear high, it’s worth bearing in mind that the number of active cases in Japan is less than 1 in 50 of the population. In a reversal of the situation at the start of the pandemic, in the UK the official numbers have dropped a lot because of the huge reduction in testing whereas in Japan mass testing is still in place – this accounts for the apparently high numbers.
The government has not introduced restrictions at a national level and has instead given local governments the authority to introduce coronavirus measures at the prefectural level (NHK News). Another encouraging development is that the government is considering downgrading the virus’s classification to a level equivalent with seasonal flu, which will lessen the burden on the medical system and bring Japan’s case number more in line with the rest of the world (Kyodo News).
Meanwhile, vaccinations are full steam ahead with 82.27% of Japan's population fully vaccinated. Booster shots are rolling out at an ever-increasing rate, with the government announcing on July 23rd that fourth vaccine shots are now available to medical staff and care home workers, besides the elderly and vulnerable (Japan Today).
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 was experiencing its largest wave of the pandemic 7th wave of Covid throughout July, there have been no restrictions or changes to the travel requirements. As of the writing of this update, the escorted package tours that were allowed entry in June are still going ahead. They must be purchased via a travel agency (like InsideJapan Tours!), and can be in the form of small group tours or tailor-made trips (the latter must be provided with a guide or an easily-accessible company rep in each destination).
You can find more information on the entry requirements and process on our latest Japan travel updates page.
The daily cap on entrants currently allows up to 20,000 new arrivals daily (Kyodo News). Countries are now classified as 'red', 'yellow', or 'blue' for the purposes of entry: blue countries (such as the US, UK and Australia) are no longer subject to on-arrival testing or quarantine.
While unrestricted foreign travel to Japan is currently not permitted except for special circumstances, the recent policy announcements, increased entry eligibility and launch of guided tours means that unrestricted travel to Japan will be possible in the very near future.