Japan Ends COVID Border Measures Earlier than Expected

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Japan has announced the end of COVID-19 border measures earlier than anticipated. This means that travelers visiting the country with an eVisa for Japan will no longer need to present any health documentation to gain entry.

The majority of Japan’s mandatory coronavirus entry restrictions are now being lifted at midnight on April 28, 2023. 

From April 29, most foreign arrivals are no longer required to present a vaccination certificate showing that they have received 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, all arrivals from mainland China still need to meet this requirement.

However, the requirement to present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure has been removed for all foreign visitors. This exemption also extends to passengers arriving from the People’s Republic of China.

Japan Ends COVID Border Measures Earlier than Expected

Why Japan’s COVID Border Measures Are Being Lifted

Japan had previously planned to remove COVID-19 travel restrictions on May 8, 2023. This is the same day that the status of the COVID-19 virus is set to be downgraded to a common infectious disease (such as seasonal influenza).

However, the government decided to bring the date forward in anticipation of an increase of foreign visitors during the country’s annual Golden Week holidays. The 2023 celebrations take place from April 29 to May 5.

The easing of travel restrictions, along with recent revisions to the Japanese visa policy, will allow tourists to enter Japan more easily. This is expected to increase tourist arrivals and help the ongoing recovery of the Japanese tourism industry.

Voluntary Testing to Remain at Select Japanese Airports

Mandatory proof of a COVID test has now been abolished. However, the Japanese government has stated that it will maintain a voluntary testing system at 5 major airports. 

These are expected to be:

  • Chubu
  • Fukuoka
  • Haneda
  • Kansai
  • Narita

This will be available for arrivals who are experiencing possible COVID symptoms such as fever. The goal is to detect possible infectious diseases and stop their transmission within Japan.

The government has stated that these voluntary tests are not mandatory. However, they are recommended for travelers who may have been exposed to the virus or who are arriving from countries with a high rate of COVID-19 cases.

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