Japan may have had negotiations with neighboring countries for business-oriented travel bubbles and eased restrictions for residents returning from other nations. However, they have remained quiet as to when international tourists would be given the go-signal to enter the country again.
Japan Considers Opening Up to International Tourists
The Japanese government is already contemplating dropping mandatory isolation for visitors arriving for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Until recently, it was not made clear when Japan could begin allowing leisure tourists back in its borders. Now, inbound tourism could reportedly resume in spring 2021.
The reopening would be applied to a limited number of foreign tourists from lower-risk countries. The trial is anticipated to boost its dented tourism industry before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
While regulatory measures have eased for foreign business travelers in the latest months, leisure travelers remain prohibited from Japan over caution from further outbreaks, reported Tourism International.
It is to surmise Japan's virus alleviation measures before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, reported Asahi.
The trial run would be an effort to revamp Japan's hard-hit tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic after the Olympics and Paralympics are exhibited.
The country's government would reportedly begin by allowing access to small tour groups from Asian places where novel coronavirus case numbers are low and relatively stable, including Taiwan and China.
If tourists were to be allowed entry in spring next year, they would still be imposed 14 days of quarantine and to download the government's coronavirus tracking app, Cocoa, reported Qazet.
Japan's tourism authority stated the number of foreign visitors in October declined 99 percent year-on-year.
According to a senior government official, "We fear that we may not be able to hold the Olympics and Paralympics if the coronavirus spreads in Japan following the arrival of foreign tourists," reported Business Traveler.
At this stage, the consideration is still hypothetical as an official decision has yet to be made on the tourism plan.
As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in a few regions, Japan's government has halted domestic tourism by temporarily stopping the Go to Travel campaign in Sapporo and Osaka.
If the reopening is implemented, regulatory measures involved the usage of private transport, including chartered buses and temperature checks courtesy of tour operators.
These few foreign tourists on special tours would be the mere ones allowed to enter Japan under the government program.
The Japanese government would make a final decision as to the date of the tours and from which nation or territory will be enabled following close monitoring of the state of Japan's pandemic as well as abroad.
The nation may also require evidence of negative tests and travel insurance to be purchased before arrival, along with detailed itineraries.
Notwithstanding the pandemic, the government aims to sustain its target of 60 million foreign visitors by 2030.
As a precaution against COVID-19, the small tour participants are expected to travel on a chartered vehicle, including a bus. They will also need to move separately from other groups of foreign tourists to alleviate large crowds at a tourist spot.
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