Japan reopens to British travellers – with strings hooked up

Japan reopens finally to worldwide vacationers as we speak following a near-complete two-year ban on overseas arrivals.

However, solely a choose few might go – specifically these booked on to non-public group tours accepted by the Japanese authorities.

Those who’re eligible should nonetheless take a look at earlier than journey, fill in a well being type and put on masks for a lot of the journey. Meanwhile, particular person vacationers stay barred from the nation.

The Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida final month confirmed that, from 10 June, worldwide tour teams from sure “blue list” international locations together with the UK could be permitted entry.

The nation’s day by day entry cap on vacationers has additionally been doubled to twenty,000,

Today’s up to date Foreign Office (FCDO) recommendation reads: “From 10 June, tourists will be allowed to enter from the UK and other ‘blue list’ countries provided they are sponsored and registered on the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) by an approved Japanese travel agency.”

Travel hopefuls will want the help of a Japan specialist tour operator, for the reason that ERFS web site is fully in Japanese.

Once booked on an accepted tour, vacationers should:

  • Take an accepted Covid-19 take a look at inside the 72 hours earlier than their flight departure time – this is usually a nucleic acid take a look at corresponding to an RT-PCR or LAMP take a look at, or a “qualitative antigen test”
  • Sign a written pledge that commits them to abiding by the quarantine and self-isolation guidelines and to quite a few different necessities
  • Complete a web based health questionnaire and procure a QR code

A full checklist of legitimate and invalid Covid take a look at varieties are outlined here, with the clarification that speedy antigen assessments and kits aren’t accepted.

Previously a bucket checklist favorite, Japan has retained a number of the world’s tightest travel restrictions because the pandemic lingers on.

The nation noticed 32 million worldwide vacationers in 2019, a determine that slipped right down to 4 million in 2020 and 0.25 million in 2021.

The authorities tried to ease its journey restrictions in summer time 2021, earlier than making the choice to shut its borders as soon as extra in November 2021.

Business travellers, overseas staff and guests corresponding to entertainers have been allowed into the nation solely since 1 March 2022, topic to the identical strict guidelines as group tour arrivals.

Speaking in Tokyo in late May, Mr Kishida mentioned: “We will resume accepting tourists on package tours with guides from the 10th of next month.

“Step by step we will aim to accept tourists as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections.”

Yesterday three of the the nation’s greatest enterprise lobbies – Japan Business Federation, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the chambers of commerce of the US and different G-7 nations – revealed a press release urging Mr Kishida to make a extra dramatic change to still-strict border guidelines.

The trio referred to as on the federal government to revive visa waivers for enterprise travellers, resume particular person vacationer journey and get rid of the cap on day by day worldwide arrivals, amongst different measures.

“These additional steps will help to ensure that Japan’s entry policies are better aligned with those of G-7 partners and will contribute to a more rapid recovery of Japan’s economy,” mentioned the organisations.

Seino Satoshi, president of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), mentioned: “Despite the pandemic, we have worked with people in inbound tourism to prepare for its recovery.

“We will welcome the return of international tourists to Japan as the first step in the recovery of inbound tourism.”

Travellers can discover extra practical info on entering Japan on the JNTO web site.


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