The era of PCR tests before flights may end for Japan, as they are considering allowing more than double the number of tourists without the need for testing.
Difficult to Attract Tourists with Stringent Requirements
Currently, if you want to visit Japan, you’d have to submit a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure. There are also mandatory mask-wearing, temperature checks, and limited free movement, with a limit of 20,000 tourists daily.
Given all of these stringent requirements, Japan has faced some difficulty attracting tourists. The airline, hospitality and retail sectors only earned about 120 billion yen from tourists in 2021, as compared to 4.8 trillion yen in 2019.
That might change soon.
More Than Double the Number of Tourists, Scrap Tests
According to Nikkei broadcaster FNN, the daily limit on tourists will be raised from 20,000 to 50,000 next month. The Government is also reportedly going to gradually remove testing requirements, and may start by exempting fully vaccinated people from PCR tests.
When asked to confirm this, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno declined to comment on the timing of any border easing, as it would depend on COVID-19 situations in Japan and globally.
He told reporters that Japan will carefully consider how to balance the promotion of economic activity and preventing contagion. Currently, Japan reports over 200k new cases daily.
Hopefully, these restrictions will relax just in time for our new passports to be ready.
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