December 11, 2022

Japan travel rules have changed – latest entry requirements when it reopens to tourists

Japan has reopened its borders to tourists after keeping them closed for more than two years following the coronavirus pandemic. But there are still strict entry requirements you need to be aware of.

Countries around the world have relaxed and scrapped Covid travel rules in a bid to boost tourism. However, Japan’s strict new entry requirements have caused confusion and consternation among potential visitors.

In particular, visitors to the country must be accompanied by a local guide from their arrival in the country until their departure, while they must also wear masks. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, here’s what you need to know about its entry requirements.

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What are the travel rules for Japan?

According to the UK Foreign Office’s travel advice for Japan, people visiting the country must take a Covid test no later than 72 hours before departure. Evidence of a negative result must be provided in an approved format.

Travelers are required to sign a written pledge promising to abide by Japan’s quarantine and self-isolation rules, as well as other requirements. They must also complete an online health questionnaire and obtain a QR code.

Passengers from the UK do not need to take another coronavirus test upon arrival in Japan. This is because the UK is on the Japanese government’s ‘blue list’, which means testing on arrival is not required.

Those who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated – defined as a full course of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen vaccines, plus a Pfizer or Moderna booster – are exempt from Japan’s self-isolation and quarantine requirements.

However, people who are not fully vaccinated will be required to self-isolate at their place of residence or accommodation for three full days after arriving in Japan. They will be allowed out of self-isolation if their third-day Covid test comes back negative.

Unvaccinated arrivals who choose not to take a third-day Covid test will have to spend a full seven days in isolation. Children under 18 can enter Japan following the same rules as their fully vaccinated parent, even if the children are not fully vaccinated themselves.

Arrivals in Japan must be accompanied by a travel guide or be part of a tour group for the duration of their stay. Tourists are also encouraged to wear masks, including outdoors near other people, although this is not a legal requirement.

“Tour guides should frequently remind participants of necessary infection prevention measures, including wearing and removing masks, at every stage of the tour,” the Japan Tourism Agency said.

“Even outdoors, mask-wearing should continue in situations where people are conversing in close proximity.”

At present, the number of tourists remains strictly limited in Japan. Only about 20,000 visitors are allowed into the country per day, a figure far lower than before the pandemic.

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