Japan Further Relaxes Travel Restrictions to Welcome Long-Term Visitors

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Japan Further Relaxes Travel Restrictions to Welcome Long-Term Visitors

There are few places we'd rather be than Japan. How nice would it be to sink a beer in a cosy backstreet izakaya, soak our troubles in a bubbling onsen, enjoy a bounty of sea-fresh sushi in a market, or climb the mighty Mount Fuji. But it seems that the dream is still a long-way off. Japan is relaxing border restrictions in three phases. The first phase in July allowed business travelers from certain Asian nations to enter, the second phase in October opens the borders to foreign students and those with approved long-term visas. The third phase will allow foreign tourists to enter, though no date has been set for that one yet.

Japan had an uptick of cases that started in July and peaked in early August but cases are once again declining. Most new cases are occurring in Tokyo and Osaka and regional restrictions have been imposed to curb the spread of infection there. At present, travel is freely permitted inside Japan and most attractions are open now, including Tokyo Disneyland, as well as most museums, temples and galleries.

For now, however, all foreign tourists are barred. Business travelers from certain Asia Pacific nations such as Singapore and South Korea are allowed to travel there and bypass quarantine if they present a negative PCR test, submit their itinerary and agree to avoid public transport. From this month, foreign residents, students and those with approved long-term visas will also be allowed to enter. "From October, visitors will be allowed entry to Japan if they are coming on a three month visa or longer, this is aimed at those with either cultural, business or educational reasons eg. foreign students," a spokesperson from the Japan National Tourism Organization told Lonely Planet. Quarantine or self-isolation rules will likely apply to them upon entry.


Source: Lonely Planet