Japan’s closed borders may gradually reopen in the next few weeks. Earlier this week, it was announced that Japan could start easing its entry ban from early March. As reported by The Japan Times, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to hold a news conference at 7pm on Thursday February 17 to announce details of the new plan.
No official announcement has been made yet. However, according to the paper's source, changes may include raising the cap on the number of daily new entrants from overseas from 3,500 to 5,000 people.
According to Kyodo News, the new cap will allow foreign nationals to enter Japan for non-tourism purposes. The report also says the government is considering shortening the current seven-day quarantine period to three days. The quarantine period could potentially be removed altogether if travellers can provide necessary documents such as a negative Covid-19 test and proof of three vaccine doses.
The current border restrictions in place were introduced in November to help curb the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant. These measures are set to expire at the end of February.
The Japanese government has been criticised by business and academic groups for its strict entry rules. In response, the government has said it is aware of the strong desire to see them lifted.
This post was originally published on February 16 and updated on February 17.
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