At the present moment, all commercial and leisure travelers are barred from entering Japan. They have imposed the strictest restrictions due to the new strain of COVID-19 variants. Though the Olympics are still supposed to be scheduled, no foreign visitors will be allowed to attend. As already, there is a lot of public pressure that has been mounting on the Japanese government to call off the Games due to the drastic rise in the number of COVID cases; there are corresponding flight and travel restrictions at those places too.
Can I travel to Japan in 2021? If this is the question in your mind, read on the remaining concerns of this post to know about the current situation of Japan.
Summary of the present situation in Japan
- All foreign people are prevented from visiting Japan in the form of tourists.
- Japan is seeing a fourth wave of the virus, and there are staggeringly high cases in the Osaka region.
- Four places – Osaka, Tokyo, Hyogo, and Kyoto are under a state of emergency. This means they have closed down theaters, shopping centers, bars, and restaurants.
- Vaccinations have started in Japan, but not more than 1% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
- Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to be held in July & August, but no foreign visitors will be given access to view the Games.
- Japan is closed now but shows hope of reopening soon.
So, now is the right time to start planning a vacation to Japan soon after the country reopens and emerges successfully in fighting the fourth wave.
What Japan offers to its tourists?
Japan offers you an exciting blend of the deeply rooted tradition and cutting edge, making it one of the most luring destinations among globetrotters. No matter whether you participate in a tea ceremony in Kyoto or soaking under the hot ‘onsen’ amidst the Tohoku forests or wander around the Akihabara district, this is the nation that will definitely be etched in your memory forever.
Who all can visit Japan NOW?
Few of the strictest travel restrictions in the world can be experienced in Japan. There are a whopping 152 countries on their prohibited list. Tourists from Brunei, Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand can enter Japan. However, those travelers from South Korea and China can only arrive through the Tokyo Narita airport.
Moreover, those traveling to Japan for work or study or joining their family are all subject to Japan’s online visa requirements. The rules and regulations are going through a constant change, and hence you have to stay updated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) page for more details.
Restrictions in place to visit Japan
Travelers from destinations that are permitted to enter Japan should complete a 14-day quarantine. However, if you can show a negative RT-PCR result, this will negate the need for a 14-day quarantine period.
Those travelers traveling under the new rules of business travel have to show their proof of negative RT-PCR test that has to be taken within 72 hours of departure, stamped and signed by the laboratory. They might not have to isolate, but they will have to offer honest details of their movement in the following 14 days. They will also be exempt from resorting to public transport.
The current COVID situation in Japan
After witnessing fewer infections in the first wave, Japan has seen a dramatic rise in the number of COVID cases which has led to the lift of the state of emergency. As per reports of 4th May 2021, Japan confirmed 609,765 cases of the new virus and 10,876 deaths.
The rollout process of the vaccine has also been sluggish against the other Asian countries due to a dearth in the supply of syringes. Just 1-2% of the Japanese nationals have got at least the first dose of the jab. Nevertheless, the Japanese government is trying hard to open up large-scale vaccination opportunities in Tokyo and Osaka to accelerate the process.
So, if you wish to travel safely to Japan, make sure you carry your masks, sanitizers, wash your hands and maintain social distancing. For visiting the most popular destinations, choose an early morning time to avoid the crowd.
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author, where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.
Also read: 9 Important Travel Tips That May Save Your Life.