The Japan Tourism Agency issued a statement on Tuesday (17 May) that the country will start to allow foreign tourists from package tours as part of a trial this month. Among the countries that participated in this trial are Singapore, the United States, Australia and Thailand.
The four countries have been identified to have a lower COVID-19 risk of mutant strains and are among the key priority markets.
Prior to the announcement, Japan only allows travellers for work, study and exceptional humanitarian reasons. Moreover, Japan has a daily entry ceiling of 10,000 people, including returning residents.
To visit Japan for tourism purposes, travellers from these four countries must have received three (3) vaccination doses from recognised vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Novavax Covid-19 vaccines.
Furthermore, travellers need to purchase their own medical insurance and be part of small-group packaged tours – accompanied by a tour guide at all times with predetermined itineraries approved by the government. With packaged tours, travel agencies can control the movement.
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As part of the trial phase, only 50 people from four countries are allowed to visit Japan for tourism purposes this month. This trial phase is in preparation for the full resumption of tourism in Japan.
In addition, the trial phase of package tours is part of the move to support economic activities and regional revitalisation.
“The international flow of people between Japan and other countries, including tourists, is extremely important for Japan’s economic activities and regional revitalisation,” said Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito.
Moreover, this tourism trial is good news for Singaporean tourists, especially since Japan is among their top travel destinations based on a 2021 Survey conducted by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Read: Bhutan is open for tourists with shortened quarantine periods.