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Japan Travel Ban Update: New Travel Restrictions Lifted, Travel Subsidy Support Extended, and More!

October is ending with a bang for Japan as it finally lifted travel restrictions for nine countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Japan is also breaching 100,000 coronavirus cases after nearly eight months since the pandemic began.

Japan Eases Travel Restrictions for 9 Countries

More countries are officially on Japan’s Level 2 travel alert for infectious diseases, enabling citizens to enter the country without too many travel restrictions. This new list of countries includes China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Brunei. Also on the list are New Zealand and Australia.

Per Level 2 travel advisory, only essential trips are encouraged, which means tourists are still not allowed. The aforementioned countries, which were all on Level 3 alert banning them from any kind of travel to Japan, are the ones with a low number of coronavirus cases at the moment.

The government is already in talks with Vietnam to resume reciprocal business travel starting Sunday, November 1. This will enable travelers from both countries to skip the 14-day self-isolation requirement upon arrival. Of course, travelers will have to test negative for the coronavirus and submit a comprehensive itinerary. Japan has also done the same for short-term business trips from and to Singapore and South Korea.

In the meantime, there are still 152 countries and regions on Japan’s Level 3 advisories. Jordan and Myanmar were the latest countries added to the list after a slight increase in coronavirus in the past weeks.

Japan Tops 100,000 Coronavirus Cases

Last Thursday, October 29, Japan topped 100,000 coronavirus cases. The single-day number of new cases across the country on the same day was 809, breaking the 800-mark for the first time since August 29. Among the cases, about 700 were aboard the Diamon Princess, a cruise ship that was docked for quarantine in Yokohama in February.

The new reported cumulative tally makes Japan the 49th country in John Hopkins University’s ranking for the most number of coronavirus cases worldwide. Still, Japan remains to have the lowest number of cases among G7 nations.

Japan Eyes Extension of Travel Subsidy Support

Meanwhile, the government is mulling the extension of its domestic travel subsidy program Go To Travel campaign past January 2021. According to reports, it could extend through the spring holiday season. The move shall continue support for the tourism sector as Japan’s economy struggle just as the rest of the world. The new extension, however, data has yet to be confirmed.

Japan’s Go To Travel campaign has a 1.35 trillion yen budget. It began on July 22 shortly after the country started reopening its borders to foreign travelers. The campaign gives a 35% discount for hotels and package tours costs and a 15% discount for shopping and dining experiences at tourist attractions.

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