As the world gradually reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries have remained firm with their strict protocols. However, tourism continues to grow globally, and many destinations heavily rely on it to boost local economies. Asia, in particular, has seen a significant comeback in tourism since reopening. Following this trend, Japan, one of the few countries that still enforced COVID restrictions, has announced its plans to abandon all entry protocols. This development is expected to further stimulate tourism in the country. Here are the details:

Japan’s Decision to Lift Entry Protocols: Japan’s National Tourism Organization has announced that starting May 8, 2023, all COVID-related border measures will be lifted. Travelers entering Japan after this date will no longer need to present a valid vaccination certificate or a COVID-19 positive test certificate.

Current Protocols and Transition: Until May 8, there are still some protocols in place, including proof of three doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine (or equivalent) and a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before departure. Additionally, Japan will launch the Genomics Surveillance Infectious Diseases program on the same date to monitor infectious disease data closely.

Increased Accessibility and Attractiveness: Japan aims to attract more tourists by making it easier to visit the country. There are round-trip flights available at reasonable prices from North America, with direct flights offered by carriers such as ZIPAIR, Japan’s low-cost carrier. Japan had already dropped visa requirements in late 2017 to make it more traveler-friendly.

Timing and Highlights: Visiting Japan during the Cherry Blossom Season between February and May is a popular choice. With the new rules taking effect in May, travelers may have the opportunity to find last-minute deals and experience this beautiful country without COVID-related restrictions. Tokyo is a must-visit destination, but there are also many off-the-beaten-track places worth exploring.

Japan’s decision to fully open for tourism by lifting all COVID protocols starting May 8, 2023, marks an important milestone for the country’s tourism industry. It presents an opportunity for travelers to experience the beauty and attractions of Japan without the constraints imposed by the pandemic. As always, it is essential to stay updated with the latest travel information and adhere to local guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.