Japan has employed among the most stringent travel restrictions on this planet in the course of the pandemic, and for a very long time it wasn’t possible for Brits to go to unless they met a really small variety of exceptions. Nevertheless, the door was cracked open barely this summer, and Brits travelling as a part of an organised tour group were allowed entry.
Things are about to get easier still. Prime minister Fumio Kishida confirmed at the top of August that fully vaccinated arrivals – which counts as having received doses of the vaccine – will now not need to supply a negative pre-arrival PCR test from September 7; and tourists will now not should be a part of a strict guided tour from the identical date. Eager to visit the neon-streaked alleyways of Tokyo and the temples of Kyoto? Here’s what you want to know.
Principal photo: Tokyo International Airport (Getty Images)
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What are the entry requirements?
Currently, tourists from 98 countries (including the UK) on guided package tours are welcomed into the country. There are quite a few caveats, nevertheless: the tours have to be fully escorted with set itineraries, and run by licensed Japanese tour operators. Tour operators might be liable for informing visitors on guidelines around mask-wearing and hygiene etiquette.
From September 7, the foundations calm down. Japan will allow non-escorted visitors on package tours, so a strict guided tour won’t be required; even though it’s not immediately clear what’s going to constitute a package tour.
From the identical date, Japan will raise the variety of each day arrivals to 50,000; and pre-arrival PCR tests might be dropped if passengers have received three shots of an approved vaccine.
Simon King, co-founder of tour operator Inside Japan, said that the comfort of restrictions in time for autumn was “a relief”.
He added: “The feedback from travelling customers this summer has been incredible. All our partners and locals alike have been so welcoming to customers. To be in Japan in time for the koyo season with temple gardens and mountainsides lit up with the red of autumn leaves might be special.
“Japan has not lost its magic and we will’t wait to indicate people again.”
What tests are needed to get into Japan?
Until September 7, the foundations are: all travellers must take an approved Covid test inside 72 hours of departure and procure proof of a negative result, alongside proof of Covid insurance. Before you disembark you’ll also must sign a written pledge and agree that you simply’ll abide by quarantine and self-isolation rules. You’ll need to finish a health form for a QR code. This testing requirement might be dropped for arrivals who’ve been triple jabbed from September 7. Quarantine isn’t required.
Can I visit if I’m unvaccinated?
Japan is simply permitting entry to those that can prove that they’ve been fully vaccinated (including a booster) not less than 14 days before they land in Japan with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.
It’s a distinct story when you’re not fully vaccinated: a seven-day stay at a quarantine hotel is required with the choice for release on day three if you have got a negative test result.
Will I want a visa?
Japan suspended its visa waiver system in the course of the pandemic, and British travellers now require a correct visa to enter. They need to apply to the Japanese Consulate-General for a visa prematurely of their trip.
Take me there
Here’s a choice of a few of the most effective Japan tours from our Times Travel partners*.