In news that many of us have been waiting to hear, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that border restrictions will begin to relax this summer. According to Kyodo News, Kishida made the announcement in a press conference in London on Thursday May 5.
We don’t have details yet, but Kishida said the plan is to consult with health experts and review the Covid-19 border measures ‘in stages’. Bloomberg reports that, at an earlier press conference on the same day, Kishida said his goal is to make Japan as easily accessible as other G7 nations from June onwards.
That’s particularly good news if you’ve been yearning for a holiday in Japan – the other G7 countries (USA, UK, Italy, Canada, Germany and France) all allow tourists to visit with few, if any, restrictions.
According to Nikkei, the Japanese government is looking at lifting the ban on tourist visas soon. Officials want to see what impact the Golden Week holidays have on coronavirus case numbers before making a decision in two weeks' time. It's possible the border will open to tour groups first before opening for general tourism later in the year. However, The Japan Times reports that the country may open to small tour groups as early as this month.
Clearly, the details are still up in the air, but fingers crossed we can welcome you back to Japan soon. Until then, here’s a breakdown of the current border rules.
This article was published at 11.50am May 6 and updated at 3.30pm.
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