Sep 27, 2022

Japan border restrictions to be lifted on October 11th!


During his visit to the U.N. General Assembly, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced that Japan will allow individual tourists and reintroduce visa-free entry starting October 11, 2022 relaxing border control measures to be on par with the US.

Triple-vaccinated travelers will not be required to take a PCR test, but unvaccinated travelers will still be required to obtain a negative PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure. Quarantine period requirements will also be lifted for all travelers. There will also be a complete lifting of the daily entrees cap, and an ERFS certificate from an inviting institution will no longer be required.

For the past 2 and a half years Japan’s boarders has been mostly closed, which has had a big impact on the Japanese economy. The restrictions have hit the tourism industry especially hard, driving many businesses to almost bankruptcy with many closing.

The restrictions during this COVID-19 era have also caused many students to change their study abroad plans in Japan, so this complete opening of the borders is sure to be the news that many students have been waiting for.

To recap, since mid-2022, Japan started easing the restrictions for guided group tours and from September 7, individual tourists became able to book their trips through Japan-based travel agencies. These agencies are responsible for arranging flights, accommodations and obtaining ERFS certificates as part of the visa application process. The daily tourist arrival cap that was put in place has been rising and currently sits at 50,000 people per day. But this ease of restrictions has not attracted the amount of travelers that were expected. In 2019, before the start of the COVID pandemic, almost 32 million foreign travelers visited Japan, but with the restrictions, this figure dropped to only 250,000 in 2021.

With this new announcement and a weak yen, the tourism industry is expecting for the economy to begin to recover. Japanese and international airlines announced that they will start increasing the amount of flights by the end of October.

Although we don’t expect the numbers of students and travelers to reach what they were before the pandemic right away, we anticipate a refreshing boom of international people and a continual rise from next month and throughout next year.
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