Japan is OPEN! Australians will be able travel to the country without a Covid test or a visa as it desperately tries to revive tourism
- Japan to reopen border for the first time in nearly two-and-a-half years
- Country has taken tough approach to Covid which has crippled its economy
- PM hopes reopening to tourists will strengthen Yen and tourism industry
Japan will reopen its borders for the first time in nearly two-and-a-half years in the latest easing of the country’s strict Covid restrictions.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Thursday that the country would welcome back tourists from September 7 and abolish its daily arrival cap to kickstart its struggling economy.
Japan saw a record 31.88million foreigners arrive on its shores in 2019. but that figure dropped to just 250,000 in 2021.
Japan will reopen its borders for the first time in nearly two-and-a-half years in the latest easing of the country’s strict Covid restrictions
Those travelling to Japan will enjoy a weak Yen, which fell so low against the dollar the finance ministry were forced to intervene for the first time since 1998.
Tourists had been allowed in from June but only under guided tours, which proved unpopular given the restrictions around movement.
Mr Kishida confirmed the major change in legislation during a trip to New York to speak at the UN General Assembly.
‘I hope many people will utilise it,’ the Japanese PM said at a news conference.
‘I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.’
Japan saw a record 31.88million foreigners arrive on its shores in 2019 – but that figure dropped to just 250,000 in 2021 due to the pandemic
Those arriving in the country will have to be triple vaccinated or produce a negative Covid test prior to departure.
From October 11, Japan hopes to have eased restrictions to the same level as the US, with visa-free travel.
Previously people had to submit a visa application in person to an embassy or consulate, crippling the tourism industry.
It will also initiate a domestic travel program for residents offering discounts for transport, entry to theme parks, and tickets for concerts and sporting events.
The program includes a payment of ¥11,000 ($77) per person for one-night accommodation.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Thursday the country would welcome back tourists from September 7
Japan has recorded about 44,095 deaths from Covid – a figure much lower than other countries around the world, given its uncompromising approach to the virus.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of elderly residents aged over 65 have had three doses of the vaccine.
There are no mask mandates in the country, but they are widely used in all public settings.