The Japanese government announced on Tuesday that it will begin to accept tourists from the United States, Australia, Thailand, and Singapore later this month. Tourists will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with three shots, and must only travel in fixed group tour packages so governments can easily manage their activities.

The limited opening to tourism will serve as a trial run for the possibility of a full opening of the country to tourism in June, with the government also considering doubling the daily maximum allowed entries into the country from 10,000 to 20,000 people.

Fuji News Network reported earlier this month that the government was considering opening the country’s borders to small groups of fully vaccinated foreign tourists this month.

Japan began easing its COVID-19 entry restrictions for foreign students and business travelers (if they have sponsors) on March 1. In addition, the government increased the number of people (Japanese and foreign nationals combined) who are allowed to enter from 3,500 to 5,000 daily, and shortened the COVID-19 quarantine period from seven to three days. The government then raised the daily cap to 7,000 on March 14, and again to 10,000 on April 10.

The border control measure that started in late November was in response to the global spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The Japanese government had also extended the border restrictions to February, setting a ban on new foreign entrants, in order to curb the spread.

Japan banned entry to all foreign tourists early in the pandemic in 2020.

Source: The Mainichi