Cherry blossoms, sakura, Nakameguro
Photo: Edward Ma/UnsplashAn undated stock photo of Meguro River

Japan could reopen to tourists from spring 2021

Here’s how Japan is planning to reopen its borders ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

With so much uncertainty amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the road to reopening borders for international travel feels like a long and murky path. While Japan has recently eased entry restrictions for foreign residents and made highly specific travel agreements with several Asian countries and regions, there hasn’t been any mention of when tourists would be able to enter the country from overseas. Japan currently counts 159 countries and regions in its no-entry list.

As the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games draws nearer, The Japan Times has revealed that the government is working to put safety measures in place for overseas visitors ahead of the Games and that entry bans could be lifted as early as April 2021. 

According to the The Japan Times, the safety measures under consideration include requesting visitors to download a health check app to monitor their condition daily. If visitors agree to update the app with their health condition every day for a period of two weeks, they may be allowed to forego spending 14 days in quarantine.

Foreign tourists might also be required to purchase private medical insurance prior to their trip in case of coronavirus infection. Likewise, the government is looking to set up special consultation centres for foreign tourists to deal with any health issues relating to the coronavirus.  

Undergoing testing before and on arrival in Japan, which is currently required of all foreign residents re-entering Japan, is also likely to be mandatory for the projected trial period in April 2021. 

This is a developing story. We will update you with more details as they become available.

Follow live updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Tokyo and Japan here.

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