As many countries have opened their borders since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared over, others have stood firm in their strict protocols.
Tourism has continued to surge throughout the globe and many places strongly rely on tourism to boost the local economy.
When a majority of the world has dropped entry requirements related to the pandemic, the ones on the outside looking in have had to make tough decisions.
Even though airfare can be pricey, many travelers are flocking to Asia this year as many Asian nations were closed off for a long period of time.
Since reopening, tourism is making a giant comeback in this region of the world. That’s why it is no surprise that another country has taken note and decided to drop all COVID-related protocols.
Japan Will Soon Be Fully Open For Tourism
Japan has been one of the last nations enforcing COVID restrictions for outsiders entering their borders.
Following in the footsteps of other Asian nations, the hugely popular destination has set a date to finally drop entry protocols for international tourists.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, this new rule will be implemented on May 8, 2023.
“Notice: All border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted on May 8, 2023,” the Japan National Tourism Organization posted on its website. “Those who are entering Japan on or after May 8, 2023, will not be required to present a Valid Vaccination Certificate or a Covid-19 Negative Test Certificate.”
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Japan began welcoming tourists back into their country last year, but there were still stringent rules that had to be followed to get a passport stamp.
The first step in reopening was only allowing guided tours to those who traveled here. Those days are in the past as more travelers have been free to enter on their own with certain stipulations since the Fall of 2022.
Wearing masks has not been a requirement since March of 2023, although government officials still recommend them in crowded social situations.
There are other policies that are still being mandated until the new rules take effect in May.
What Takes Effect On May 8
As the rules stand today, travelers have been allowed to enter by air, land, or sea. No matter which transportation method people arrive by, they will need to provide certain documents.
Until May 8, the only remaining protocols are:
- Proof of 3 doses (or equivalency) of an approved COVID-19 vaccine
- Or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of flight departure
Japan will also launch a new initiative called the Genomic Surveillance of Infectious Diseases.
The goal of this program will closely monitor the data of infectious diseases, also beginning May 8.
If COVID infections were to spike again, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a reversal in some protocols.
Especially since Japan has remained extremely cautious, unlike most of the world at this point on the timeline.
Accessibility To Japan
With the popular country looking to gain more tourists this year, they are making it much easier to visit for most travelers.
Round-trip flights from North America can be found to be reasonably priced compared to other Asian destinations.
Many of the major hubs across Canada and the U.S. offer direct flights to Japan through various airlines, including Japan’s low-cost carrier – ZIPAIR.
Japan also dropped its visa requirements late last year in order to become more appealing to those with the itch to travel again.
They just weren’t ready to drop all pandemic-era protocols until now. One of the best times to visit this beautiful country is during Cherry Blossom season.
February to May is typically the most common time of year to take in the picturesque pink trees for the perfect Instagram post.
Those who wait to visit until the new rules take effect might get lucky at the tail end of the season.
If not, there are still endless experiences to take in throughout this amazing country. Tokyo alone is always worth the trip, while many other off-path places are well worth exploring too.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com