While Japan has eased the travel restrictions for foreign residents and business travellers, travelling for the purpose of tourism remains closed. The country is reportedly toying with the idea of reopening for international tourists in spring 2021 ahead of the once postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.
As the rescheduled yet highly anticipated Olympic Games draws nearer by the day, Japan is working on the health and safety protocols, not only for athletes, but for spectators travelling from overseas as well. This means that the strict entry ban could be lifted as early as April 2021, which is also Japan’s peak season.
The Japan Times claimed that some of the protocols the government are mulling about are requesting visitors to download a health check app to monitor their condition daily, which will replace the currently required 14-day quarantine.
Foreign tourists may also be required to purchase private medical insurance prior to their trip. Since Japan tourism took off, medical institutions are struggling to deal with foreign tourists unable to pay medical expenses during their trip.
The government is also looking to set up special consultation centres for foreign tourists to deal with any health issues relating to the coronavirus. Testing before and upon arrival is likely to be mandatory to all travellers.