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COVID-19: Foreign tourists can now enter Japan with group tours from 10 June

COVID-19: Foreign tourists can now enter Japan with group tours from 10 June

During the Future of Asia conference on Thursday, 26 May 2022, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio made an announcement that the country will resume inbound tourism in the form of escorted package tours starting from Friday, 10 June 2022. This news comes at the head of a series of announcements in the past few weeks aimed at relaxing the current strict border measures, such as increasing the cap of foreign arrivals to 20,000 persons per day and re-classifying countries under a new colour system to reduce the amount of testing and self-quarantine required for new arrivals from 1 June.

 

Only visitors who book these package tours will be allowed to enter Japan under non-essential travel for the time being, in order to curb the spread of the virus. This latest announcement is certainly an improvement in the current travel situation for all of us eager to travel, but as always, there are a few important points to take note of before we start scrambling to book our flights.

 

Can we start packing our bags yet?

Hold your horses, I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. (Image credit: Unsplash)

 

Firstly, even under the new package tour restriction, keep in mind that not all travel agencies will be participating in these tours—only those approved by the Japan Association of Travel Agents are qualified to do so. One such agency under this system is JTB Singapore, who already have a few guided tour packages available for booking. International flights are currently limited to five major airports—Tokyo International Airport/Haneda Airport (HND), Narita International Airport (NRT), Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO), Kansai International Airport (KIX), and Fukuoka Airport (FUK)—with international flights to also resume in Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport (CTS) and Okinawa’s Naha Airport (OKA) from 10 June.

 

Secondly, you will need to arrive from a country under a “blue list”, as specified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Anyone arriving from one of these 98 countries will not require any testing or quarantine upon arrival in Japan, but a negative PCR test is still required prior to departure. While most countries fall under this category, there are a select few which are classified under a “yellow” and “red” list, in which case travellers will have to quarantine at a home or government-designated facility for 3 or 7 days respectively, before they will be allowed to roam freely.

 

As of the time of writing, some additional requirements include a covid certificate, written pledge, and questionnaire completed before departure and the installation of the MySOS application on your personal mobile device. Further announcements will likely be made closer to the 10 June date if any of these requirements will also be relaxed along with the new systems in place.

 

There continues to be no word on when we will be able to travel to and explore Japan independently, but we are certainly progressing to that point.

 

Header image credit: photoAC

 

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