TOKYO, JAPAN : For the first time in two years since the coronavirus epidemic, Japan’s borders are poised to reopen to foreign tourists. However, the country’s prime leader has stated that the loosening will be gradual and subject to conditions.
“From June 10th, we will again welcome foreign tourists on package trips accompanied by guides,” declared Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in a speech on Thursday.
Prior to that, Kishida stated that the present ceiling on foreign immigration will be raised to 20,000 per day beginning June 1st.
Officials claim that starting with package tours will allow authorities to better regulate the virus’s potential spread.
Countries and areas will be classified into three groups under the new strategy, based on their infection risk. Visitors in the lowest-risk category will be excluded from viral testing and self-quarantine, even if they have not been immunised against COVID.
Officials intend to publish the classification later this week, and they estimate that 80 percent of travellers will not require quarantine restrictions upon arrival.
Japan is the only G7 country that still restricts the number of tourists. Business groups have urged the Kishida administration to relax border regulations in order to help the economy recover from the pandemic.
However, the daily arrival limit of 20,000, which includes Japanese nationals, is less than a fourth of the total number of international visitors recorded before to the epidemic.
Officials said they intend to gradually lift travel restrictions while keeping the virus under control.