Following the increased daily limit on overseas arrivals, Japan’s border restrictions appear to show signs of easing. The Japan Times reports that the country will now lift its entry ban on 106 countries and regions effective Friday April 8.
However, don’t get your hopes up yet – because in terms of its effect on tourism, nothing has changed. This sudden development in Japan’s border rules is confusing. Visa exemption agreements that Japan has with selected countries are still suspended and since Japanese embassies overseas are still restricting visa issuance, this essentially means tourists are still not allowed in.
Other than Japanese citizens and permanent residents, only foreign students, business travellers and researchers have been granted the permission to come into Japan since March 1. The status quo will remain the same even after the entry ban is lifted tomorrow. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France are just some of the countries included in the lift. The entire list of the 106 countries are now available on The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website here.
Japan currently bans the entry of people arriving from countries where a travel alert has been issued over the spread of an infectious disease (such as Covid-19), with special exceptions. These alerts are measured on a one (low) to four (high) scale, where countries designated level three or higher are banned.
Currently, there's no word on when Japan will open its borders to tourists. In the meantime, you can keep track of the latest border control restrictions here.
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