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Japan Travel Ban Q&A: When Will Japan Allow International Travel?

Updated: Oct 22


Japan has started re-opening its borders to foreign residents and select business travelers. It’s also working on easing travel restrictions for several countries.


While we are still waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, many international travelers are eager to know when they could enter Japan. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get:


1. Is Japan open for tourism?


Most tourist facilities across Japan are now open to tourists with safety measures being observed. However, Japan allows interprefecture movements for domestic tourists only. Domestic tourists are encouraged to exercise social distancing and avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places.


Despite that, many tourist facilities in Okinawa have been closed again since August. Okinawa is under a state of emergency until September 5.


2. When will Japan open for tourists?


There’s no official date yet as to when Japan will open to international tourists. But rest assured, the government has been working hard to loosen up travel restrictions for some countries as it can. If things get a little better, foreign tourists will be accommodated eventually, that’s for sure.


3. When will Japan allow international travel?


On September 1, Japan started accepting foreign residents who have been locked out since April, regardless of where they are from. However, they will have to undergo a test for coronavirus and a self-quarantine for 14 days. They will also be prohibited to take public transportation within this period.


For leisure travelers, it’s hard to say that Japan will be opening borders for them this year. After foreign residents and business travelers, exchange students and international talents are next on the line.


In fact, the government is already in talks with Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brunei, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Cambodia for the possible lifting of the travel ban anytime soon.


Tourists from the United States and entire Europe will likely be the last on the line.


4. What countries are allowed to enter Japan?


As of September 3, only five countries are not on Japan’s entry ban list, and thus allowed to enter without restrictions. These are Mongolia, Jordan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Myanmar.


But as with anyone who enters the country, inbound travelers coming from these countries are required to go through a rapid test and go through a self-quarantine for 14 days. They will not be allowed to take public transportation and utilities within this period.


Meanwhile, there are a total of 159 countries and territories are on Japan’s travel ban list as of September 3.


5. When can I travel to Japan again?


The most important question for a lot of you would probably be, “When can we travel to Japan again?”


International tourists will likely be able to travel to Japan again early next year. The latest would be by July 2021 in time for the Tokyo Olympics.


If the government will be able to successfully secure a COVID-19 vaccine earlier, we can expect that Japan could be ready to ease travel restrictions further.

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