Japan Might be Opening Up for Asian Tourists from March 2021

Japan lovers, it’s time to rejoice, because you may be getting the chance to visit your favourite country sooner than you think.

On Wednesday (9 December), it was reported that the tourism sector in Japan is currently making tentative plans to welcome foreign tourists in Spring next year.

Spring in Japan starts in March.

The Japanese government is allegedly keen to open up travel for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games which was delayed due to Covid-19. The games will reportedly commence on July 23 2021.

Also, the government is preparing plans to permit small group tours to enter Japan. These small groups will come from other parts of Asia, including Taiwan, Vietnam or China. These countries have been able to contain the virus from spreading.

Yes, Singapore isn’t named there but given how we’ve recently managed to control the outbreak, we should be one of these countries, too.

These tours may resume once the weather is warmer in Japan, which is around March. In case you’ve forgotten, Covid-19 spreads faster and easier in colder weather.

However, this is not fixed. Local health authorities still need to monitor how the pandemic might progress in Spring as well as the availability and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.

Tourists in Japan

Small groups must first test negative for the virus and submit a detailed itinerary for their visit. In Japan, they must also travel by a chartered bus for the entire duration of their visit.

Each tourist group must also avoid each other and large crowds at popular tourist spots. Tourists will also be required to use a tracing app (think: TraceTogether) at all times and provide updates about their health daily.

Currently, tourists are allowed into Japan only if they isolate themselves for two weeks.

In October, arrivals from overseas dropped by 99 per cent as compared to the same period in 2019. Unfortunately, this marked the 13th month straight of year-on-year declines in overseas arrivals in Japan.

To better monitor the health and well-being of visitors, the government also plans to open a centralised venue in March. This will also help them to locate visitors better.

This facility will also be fully operational by the time the Olympics commence.

International Visits

In November, Japan opened its doors for international athletes. They hosted a meet to test if international sporting events could be carried out safely despite the pandemic.

At the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, 30 gymnasts competed in the Friendship and Solidarity Competition. The gymnasts came from different countries, including Japan, China, Russia and the United States.

This was the first international sporting event to be held in Japan that featured international athletes since the cancellation of the 2020 Olympics.

The meet was executed successfully much to the relief of the organisers, according to The Japan Times. Many measures were in place to ensure the safety of athletes, including daily testing and quarantine in their hotels. International athletes were also required to take a PCR test 72 hours before they departed for Japan.

Despite the 13,291 capacity at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, only 2,094 spectators attended due to the limit set by organisers to safeguard spectators.

Featured Image: Ned Snowman / Shutterstock.com