when will japan reopen
When will Japan reopen to tourists?

When Will Japan Open Borders Again?

The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on the entire world. Japan tourism is greatly affected by the increasing cases of COVID in Japan, like many other countries. Now, the government has closed the borders of Japan for regular tourists and you have to fulfill some requirements to enter japan even after the borders reopen.

International tourists are still barred from entering the country, and there is no indication that this will change anytime soon. It is less likely that Japan will open borders again before 2022.

However, there are some exceptions to the bans to enter Japan. If you meet certain criteria, you might go to Japan now. So, in this article, I will discuss when Japan will open its border again, along with tourism Covid information from Japan and some other information that you might find helpful.

When Will Japan Open Borders Again?

The government still has not decided on an exact time for Japan to reopen its borders again. However, there is a possibility that Japan will reopen the border in 2022 as they have already started vaccinating their citizens.

Japan started its vaccination campaign in mid-February. The country is planning to vaccinate all its senior citizens by the end of July. If everything goes according to plan, Japan is hoping to vaccinate all its population by November. However, the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly and the country has again reimposed strict lockdowns.

Japan’s reopening until the end of the summer appears improbable at this time. An autumn opening appears to be a possibility If case counts decline. If things go as they did last fall, Japan will begin by opening up business travel. After that, they might think about allowing tourists in.

While it was considering opening up borders for the Olympic Games by the Japanese government, the plan was later dropped. With the recent spike in covid cases, there would be the cause.

Japan Tourism COVID Information

Japan has experienced a dramatic spike in cases since the government lifted the national emergency in March, following the lower rate of infection during the first wave. Thus, as I have already mentioned, the borders are currently closed and there is no chance of reopening anytime soon.

Now, let’s discuss some of the most important information regarding Japanese tourism:

Current Visa Restrictions in Japan

Aside from those who qualify for one of the exclusions, Japan doesn’t grant any foreigners visas to enter Japan. The vast majority of visas issued before March 2020 are no longer applicable and passengers cannot utilize those for travel.

The government grants several countries, such as Australia, the United States, and European nations, visa-free access to Japan under regular conditions. However, this access is no longer valid in current circumstances. Visa exemptions have been stopped till further notice due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

When it will be safe to allow international visitors into Japan, the government will reinstate the country’s usual visa regime.

Exemptions from the Japan travel ban

Although the government has banned most people from entering Japan right now, there are some exceptions. The Japanese government allows Japanese citizens and their spouses and children to travel. Besides, passengers who have a Special Permanent Resident Permit with a re-entry permit can also enter Japan.

Japanese residents having a re-entry permit who have not spent the previous 14 days in India, Pakistan, or Nepal are eligible. However, if you have the status of a permanent resident, or you are a spouse, or a child of one, you might enter Japan with re-entry permission even if you have spent the previous 14 days in Pakistan, India, or Nepal.

Holders of diplomatic or official visas who have received special authorization and military personnel from the United States are also allowed to enter Japan. Passengers who have an Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card or a PIAC, as well as a QR code from the OCHA app or a completed “Prior Consent Form” might enter.

Entry into Japan on the Business and Residence Tracks

The business track and residence track paths are available to some international visitors. During the first 14-day quarantine, foreigners on the business track can enter Japan and engage in certain business activities.

Individuals can conduct only necessary business activities, with minimal contact with people and no use of public transportation. Only passengers arriving from Vietnam, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea, or China can take the Business track at this time. However, this list is subject to change.

On the other hand, long-term residents will benefit from the Residence track framework. Non-Japanese citizens arriving from Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, or China can use it. Moreover, residents of Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Laos can use it as well.

Can a US Citizen Travel to Japan?

With some exceptions, US citizens cannot travel to Japan at present. If a traveler thinks they might be eligible for an exception to Japan’s severe entry requirements, he/she must seek information from their closest Japanese Embassy or Consulate.

The United States Embassy advises any Americans considering a trip to Japan to thoroughly evaluate the information provided by the Japanese government. The government is still prohibiting tourism, as well as most of the other short-term travel. Again, there are no signs that this will change anytime soon. Travel without a visa is not currently possible.

The United States Embassy and consulates are still providing urgent and mission-critical visa services. Besides, they are giving some normal services with restricted appointment scheduling.

Now, even if you are eligible to travel to Japan, you must go through some restrictions. Eligible travelers must undergo a quarantine period of two weeks. However, you can request a PCR test after arrival. If the test result is not positive, you should be released from quarantine.

Those going under Japan’s new business travel guidelines must show proof of a negative PCR test done within three days of departure from your home country. The documentation must have the sign and stamps from the laboratory where you took the test.

Although the country will not require these visitors to self-isolate, they must disclose information about their activities for the next two weeks and avoid using public transport.

Not only has Japan restricted US citizens to travel to the country, but the US Government has also announced a travel warning for Americans visiting Japan on May 24. It was a Level 4 alert, which is the most serious one. However, the government has downgraded it to a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) status since then.

Things You Will Need to Enter Japan After It Reopens

The country has not officially indicated when or how it would open again to tourists. So, it is only possible to make wise guesses based on how they are letting foreign residents and business people travel.

Here are some of the things that you might need to travel to Japan after it opens again:

  • When in Japan, you may be asked to download a monitoring app to your phone. The LINE app for chatting appears to be the preferred choice in Japan.
  • A negative COVID test within three days before your flight.
  • You might also be required to show documentation of Covid-19 vaccination for entering Japan.

However, to get the most recent information about Japanese tourism, it would be best if you contact your local Japanese embassy.

Conclusion

Japan tourism is very unlikely to be normal soon given the current state of covid infections there. We can only hope for the best and expect things to return to normal as quickly as possible. However, thanks for reading through.

The wise man does not lose his path, the brave one does not grow fearful.

Japanese proverb
MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.