visa, valid vaccines, PCR tests and more

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Finally, we will soon be able to welcome you back to Japan as the country fully reopens to international tourism. From October 11, Japan will resume visa-free entry and independent travel after more than two years of strict border restrictions. The daily entry cap will also be removed with the Red-Yellow-Blue country classification system.

Some details are still being finalized by the government at the time of publication, but we will update you as more information is released. In the meantime, here’s what we know so far about the new input protocols.

No more quarantine

It’s a big. Until October 10, which of the three entry protocols travelers must follow will depend on whether the country they are arriving from is in the ‘red’, ‘yellow’ or ‘blue’ category. According Nikkeihowever, Japan will drop this red-yellow-blue country classification system along with the last of its quarantine requirements upon reopening.

Tourists from countries that were previously considered “high risk” for Covid-19 will no longer be required to self-quarantine. Only travelers who show symptoms of Covid-19 will be administered a PCR test upon arrival. More information here (in Japanese only).

Tourists will no longer be required to book their trips through travel agencies

Spontaneous travel is back as tourists will no longer be required to book accommodation and plane tickets with travel agencies from October 11. It also means that tourists will no longer have to obtain a certificate through the Incoming and Repatriating Tracking System (ERFS).

Visa-free travel is back

While Japan has suspended its visa waiver arrangements for the majority of the pandemic, the government will allow visa-free travel again from October 11. This means that passport holders of one of these 68 countries and regions designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will no longer be required to apply for a tourist visa.

No pre-arrival PCR tests for triple-vaccinated travelers

In September, Japan changed entry rules to exempt travelers who are fully vaccinated (booster dose included) from PCR tests before arrival. Unvaccinated travelers will be required to submit a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to departure for Japan.

Covid-19 vaccines accepted

Japan is also expanding its list of valid Covid-19 vaccines to be consistent with those approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. So, in addition to the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Bharat Biotech and Novavax vaccines, Japan will accept the Sinopharm, Sinovac and Convidecia vaccines from October 11. More information here (in Japanese only).

For the latest border rules, check the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

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