FRIDAY, March 01, 2024

Japan lifts all restrictions on vaccinated tourists, offers discounts

Japan lifts all restrictions on vaccinated tourists, offers discounts

Japan announced that it will drastically ease entry restrictions on Tuesday, including scrapping the cap of 50,000 arrivals daily.

It will also eliminate the ban on individual tourists from Tuesday.

Before this, tourists could only enter on package tours.

Measures to stimulate domestic tourism demand, such as the national travel assistance programme, will also be initiated, to accelerate the “Living with the novel coronavirus” scheme to revive the economy.

Since February 2020, when the government denied entry to non-Japanese nationals who had been in China’s Hubei Province where infections first began to spread, Japan has imposed various limits on entry. Restrictions will now largely return to pre-Covid levels, except for requiring proof of a third dose of vaccine or a negative test result within 72 hours before leaving the last country travellers were in before coming to Japan.

“We want many people to enjoy events across the nation and hope it will invigorate Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said to reporters on Sunday, expressing his expectations for the national travel assistance programme and the easing of entry restrictions.

Kishida spoke after attending the Japanese Grand Prix of the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture.

From Tuesday, all entrants, including returning Japanese nationals, will not be tested for the virus upon entry and will not be required to self-quarantine unless they have symptoms such as fever. Visa exemptions will also resume for short-term visitors to Japan from 68 countries and regions, including the United States and South Korea.

The national travel assistance programme subsidises 40 per cent of travel expenses for public transportation and accommodations, and together with coupons for food and beverages, the maximum subsidy amount is ¥11,000 per person per day. The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to start the programme on October 20. The event discount scheme, which offers a 20 per cent discount (up to ¥2,000) on the price of tickets to movies, sports games and other entertainment will also begin.

The Japan Times

Asia News Network