The Japanese government have announced their intention to shorten the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated students and business travellers in November 2021
UPDATE: As of December 1st 2021, with the discovery of the Omicron variant, Japan has closed their borders to all foreign entry with the exception of residents for the next month. We will update this page as soon as the situation changes.
The Japanese government have finally announced plans to reduce some, but not all, border restrictions for some visitors to Japan, starting on Monday 8th November.
We detail the new rules below, which unfortunately don't yet include tourists, but although there are still restrictions it is great to see the positive direction after more than a year of borders being largely closed. Coupled with the hope that the domestic GoTo travel campaign may resume in February 2022, there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel for the millions of travellers who can't wait to come back to Japan, or indeed visit for the first time!
In summary the following fully vaccinated people will be able to enter Japan from Monday 8th November with a reduced quarantine requirement of only 3 days (currently 10-14 days):
- students with a valid student visa will be able to enter to commence or resume studies
- business travellers with a valid business visa can come for a short business trip
- Japanese business travellers returning from overseas business trips
- Japanese citizens or permanent residents
It is noted that this shortening of quarantine is only possible for people who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved in Japan (currently Pfizer, Moderna or Astrozeneca). Fully vaccinated means you must have proof of vaccination being completed at least 14 days before arrival in English or Japanese. Unfortunately children who cannot get vaccinated due to their age will have to do a full 14 days (along with their parents!).
Those who arrive will still need to provide evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the plan, take a test upon arrival in Japan, sign a pledge not to break any social distancing rules and download required apps for tracing and reporting health/location while in Japan. Business travellers will need their sponsoring company to provide proof of itinerary as well as an explanation of how the business will implement social distancing and Covid avoidance measures.
It's also worth noting that unfortunately unvaccinated children are still subject to the full 14 days isolation requirements. With an estimated 300,000 people holding valid visas for entry it might take a while to clear the backlog as there are still limits in place on the number of entries each day.
The government also reserves the right to bring restrictions back if there is evidence of a rebound in Covid numbers, which are currently at their lowest levels in Japan for over a year.
At the moment there are no indications that international flights to airports other than Tokyo or Osaka will resume and domestic transport (planes, buses, taxis, trains, ferries etc) cannot be used while in quarantine, so those lucky enough to visit will still have to spend 3 days in Tokyo or Osaka before heading elsewhere.
However, there are now more airlines accepting bookings for early 2022... we'll keep our eyes peeled for more positive news!
This news was first announced by Nikkei Asia.
Check out the latest details from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by clicking here.