Tourism is one of the many industries hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Early this year, Japan has had to close its borders and impose a strict entry ban on foreign tourists for 159 countries. This move was a huge blow to a country that has been preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for years. But now that it looks like things are slowly getting under control, the Japanese government is discussing lifting the ban and allowing foreign tourists back as early as April 2021.
The new tourist entry requirements
Of course, entering the country won’t be as easy as it was pre-pandemic. The Japanese government is currently discussing measures for foreign tourists expecting to visit next year. If you’re planning on flying out, it’s best to keep these in mind:
- Foreign tourists will have to download a health check smartphone app once they get Japanese visas in their home country. They will have to update the app for the first 14 days in the country. Tracking the progress will help the government contain the virus if any.
- Foreign tourists must show a negative test for COVID-19 before they depart for Japan. They will only be allowed entry to the Olympic and Paralympic events if they show proof.
- Getting private health insurance is encouraged before entering Japan.
- Foreign tourists will have an exclusive consultation center. According to the Japan Times, this is to “avoid putting too much work on public health centers” that are treating residents.
The government plans on testing these countermeasures starting in January 2021. They will also be monitoring the local and international coronavirus situation before opening their doors come April 2021.
The Tokyo 2020 events have been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8 for the Olympics and August 24 to September 5 for the Paralympics.
Japan’s government officials and the Olympic committee are confident that the event will push through with the new schedules. They have also been regularly discussing the best measures to ensure athletes, attendees, and staff will be protected from the virus.
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