Change goes into effect next month for vaccinated travelers, other relaxations of entry regulations for foreign travelers expected soon.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a major change to Japan’s entry requirements for travelers coming from overseas. Currently, inbound travelers are required to complete a COVID test with a negative result within 72 hours of their departure for Japan, but that policy will be phased out in exactly two weeks. Starting September 7, pre-departure tests will no longer be required for inbound travelers from any country, provided they have been vaccinated three times.

That isn’t the only good news for those hoping to travel to Japan, as the government will be raising its cap on inbound travelers. Currently Japan allows 20,000 entrants per day, but Kishida insinuated that this will be raised soon, saying that he wants to “progressively ease restrictions to make entry into Japan as smooth as those of other G7 nations” while taking into consideration health conditions and needs of people both within Japan and abroad. While no official figure has yet been announced, speculation is that the daily inbound limit will be raised to 50,000 per day.

National broadcaster NHK also reports that a change in the requirement that foreign tourists be accompanied by a tour guide while in Japan is coming. According to NHK, entrants will still be required to be in Japan as part of an organized tour package with a managed schedule, but will not need the constant presence of a guide. An official announcement of this policy is yet to take place, however.

Sources: NHK News Web (1, 2), Jiji, Mainichi Shimbun
Top image: Pakutaso
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