Japan reopens to British travellers – with strings attached

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Japan reopens eventually to worldwide vacationers at present following a near-complete two-year ban on international arrivals.

Nonetheless, solely a choose few could go – particularly these booked on to personal group excursions authorized by the Japanese authorities.

Those that are eligible should nonetheless check earlier than journey, fill in a well being type and put on masks for a lot of the journey. In the meantime, 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 record” nations together with the UK could be permitted entry.

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

Immediately’s up to date International Workplace (FCDO) recommendation reads: “From 10 June, vacationers might be allowed to enter from the UK and different ‘blue record’ nations offered they’re sponsored and registered on the Entrants, Returnees Comply with-up System (ERFS) by an authorized Japanese journey company.”

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

As soon as booked on an authorized tour, vacationers should:

  • Take an authorized Covid-19 check inside the 72 hours earlier than their flight departure time – this is usually a nucleic acid check akin to an RT-PCR or LAMP check, or a “qualitative antigen check”
  • Signal a written pledge that commits them to abiding by the quarantine and self-isolation guidelines and to various different necessities
  • Full a web based well being questionnaire and procure a QR code

A full record of legitimate and invalid Covid check sorts are outlined right here, with the clarification that speedy antigen exams and kits aren’t accepted.

Beforehand a bucket record favorite, Japan has retained a few of the world’s tightest journey 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 federal government tried to ease its journey restrictions in summer season 2021, earlier than making the choice to shut its borders as soon as extra in November 2021.

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

Talking in Tokyo in late Might, Mr Kishida mentioned: “We are going to resume accepting vacationers on package deal excursions with guides from the tenth of subsequent month.

“Step-by-step we are going to intention to simply accept vacationers as we did in regular instances, bearing in mind the standing of infections.”

Yesterday three of the the nation’s greatest enterprise lobbies – Japan Enterprise Federation, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Business and the chambers of commerce of the US and different G-7 nations – revealed an announcement 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 each day worldwide arrivals, amongst different measures.

“These further steps will assist to make sure that Japan’s entry insurance policies are higher aligned with these of G-7 companions and can contribute to a extra speedy restoration of Japan’s economic system,” mentioned the organisations.

Seino Satoshi, president of the Japan Nationwide Tourism Group (JNTO), mentioned: “Regardless of the pandemic, we now have labored with folks in inbound tourism to organize for its restoration.

“We are going to welcome the return of worldwide vacationers to Japan as step one within the restoration of inbound tourism.”

Travellers can discover extra sensible data on coming into Japan on the JNTO web site.

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