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When Will Japan Lift Travel Ban?

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Tourists and citizens in Kyoto, Japan before the coronavirus pandemic

Japan had already started opening doors to travelers from Vietnam and will soon welcome people from Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. The question for a lot of travelers from the rest of the world is, “When will Japan lift the travel ban for them?”

After announcing that it’s easing entry restrictions for travelers from the aforementioned countries, the Japanese government is now considering a few more countries.

Japan Entry Ban for Southeast Asia

The government is planning to convene with countries in Southeast Asia, particularly Taiwan, Singapore, and Brunei, to allow people to travel between them and Japan.

Apparently, these are countries where coronavirus infections are contained to a large extent. Taiwan, Singapore, and Brunei are three of the few countries that have below 500 active cases of COVID-19.

The easing of travel restrictions from said countries is expected to start in July or August. As for the date, nothing has been said.

Businesspeople are given the top priority as of now, followed by students. Tourists are expected to be the last on the line.

Other countries in consideration by the government are China and South Korea — the top two source countries for tourists to Japan every year. However, Japan is on its toes about opening borders to people from its two neighbors as large numbers of people are expected to come to Japan if it does so. And with its limited virus testing capacity, Japan might be overwhelmed by the number of inbound travelers.

Japan Entry Ban for EU Continues

In the meantime, the European Union has moved to lift travel restrictions for people in Japan. But as of now, Japan does not see lifting its entry restrictions on the EU anytime soon, citing a large number of coronavirus infections in the region that have yet to be contained.

The two main conditions given to travelers from Vietnam are expected to be applied to other travelers as well. These are to submit negative test results and an itinerary on where they plan to visit during their stay in Japan.

What’s Next?

Travel to and from Japan — the third-largest economy in the world — has virtually put to a halt since the entry ban was imposed on a lot of countries. The travel and tourism industry has suffered for the first time in decades.

Back in May, only 1,700 foreign travelers are estimated to have visited Japan, the lowest for any month ever recorded, and 99.9% down from the same month last year.

On Japan’s entry ban list are 129 countries. But as it moves to ease travel restrictions, it is expected that more and more countries will be allowed by October as the situation gets better and if virus testing capacity permits.

If you are from a country not mentioned above and are asking, “When can I travel to Japan again?” right now it’s still up in the air.


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