Japan to ease Covid travel restrictions next month

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday said his country would relax Covid-19 border control requirements next month, a key step in boosting a recovery in Japan’s tourism sector.

From October 11, Japan will resume individual tourism and visa-free travel for people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

At the same time, it will also remove a daily cap on arrivals in the country, currently set at 50,000, and may revise rules for hotels so they can refuse guests who don’t adhere to infection controls like wearing masks during an outbreak, reported domestic media.

Japan has maintained some of the strictest border measures among major economies since the outbreak of the pandemic, after effectively blocking access for visitors for two years before beginning a phased reopening in June.

Kishida’s announcement, made during a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, follows a promise he made in May that Japan would align its border controls more closely with those of other Group of Seven countries.

“We are a nation that has thrived on the free flow of people, goods and capital,” he said.

“Covid-19 has of course interrupted all these benefits, but from October 11, Japan will ease border control measures to be on par with the US, and resume visa-free travel and individual travel,” he said.

Japan’s insistence that visitors must obtain a visa to enter the country and then stick to planned package tours has been a major sticking point. Before the pandemic, Japan had visa-waiver agreements with nearly 70 countries and regions, including the United States, the European Union and many Asian neighbors.

Business lobbies and travel companies have urged Japan to ease its border controls more quickly, fearing they could fall behind with key trading partners and leave the nation economically behind.

Japan’s currency weakened above the psychologically important level of 145 yen per dollar on Thursday, making overseas travel and shopping in the country the cheapest in decades.

Japan officially admitted tourists in June for the first time in two years, but only about 8,000 arrived through July, compared with more than 80,000 visitors the day before the pandemic.

https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/japan-set-to-ease-covid-travel-restrictions-next-month-42011516.html Japan to ease Covid travel restrictions next month

Fry Electronics Team

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