Japan Welcomes Back Tourists
Japan is finally reopening to tourists after more than two years. But most likely, your return to Japan will be very different from the last time you were there. Those who visit must wear masks, have insurance, and travel with guided groups.
The first reopening phase, which kicks off tomorrow on June 10, only allows in visitors on package tours. The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has said that travel agency guides accompanying visitors will have to ensure they wear their masks.
Additionally, foreign tourists visiting Japan will have to take out private medical insurance.
Entry will be initially restricted to guided tours from 98 countries and regions presenting the lowest risk of infection, including the United States, Britain, China, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand, Kyodo News reports.
“Tour guides should frequently remind tour participants of necessary infection prevention measures, including wearing and removing masks, at each stage of the tour,” the JTA said in its guidelines. “Even outdoors, the wearing of masks should continue in situations where people are conversing in close proximity.”
The rules stipulate that travel agencies must receive consent from tourists to comply with certain measures. These safety measures will be clearly conveyed to the tour participants when they purchase their tour package. Tourists who fail to comply with the rules may not be able to take part in the tour.
Japan imposed some of the strictest border controls in the world during the pandemic, banning the entry of almost all non-residents. Now Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to ease border measures, and bring them in line with other wealthy nations.