Tour cancelled for group that entered Japan on Friday.

Japan has had some of the strictest border controls in the world for leisure travelers since the pandemic began, but they’re finally starting to be eased. This month, Japan began accepting guided tour groups with travelers from the U.S., Australia, Singapore, and Thailand as part of a test program ahead of wider eligibility beginning next month.

Unfortunately, one of those travelers has tested positive for infection with the coronavirus. The infected traveler is part of a four-person group from Thailand which arrived in Japan on Friday and entered Oita Prefecture on Sunday. The next morning, while touring the hot spring town of Beppu, the traveler reported having throat pains, and a subsequent test at a medical center confirmed that the traveler was infected.

The traveler’s symptoms are light, with no fever, but the individual has been transferred to a hotel quarantine facility. The other three members of the group tested negative and returned to their previously arranged hotel accommodations, but the remainder of the tour’s activities have been cancelled. No announcement has been made regarding whether the traveler is thought to have become infected before arriving in Japan or after.

The Japanese government has not made any statement that the Thai traveler’s infection will affect the timetable by which, starting June 10, travelers from nearly 200 countries will be eligible to enter Japan on guided tours, with those from 98 not needing any vaccinations or to undergo PCR testing upon arrival. However, the incident is unlikely to make it easier to find hotels, tourism attractions, and local communities willing to host those tours.

Source: NHK News Web, Yahoo! Japan News/Kyodo, Yahoo! Japan News/TOS TV Oita
Top image: Pakutaso
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