Japan will relax its COVID-19 border control requirements and resume visa-free travel from next month.
In a bid to foster a recovery in the country’s tourism sector, the rules will be changed from October 11.
A cap on the number of daily arrivals, which is currently set at 50,000, and the obligation to respect planned travel packages will also be removed.
Japan has enforced some of the toughest border measures in the world since the start of the pandemic, blocking entry to visitors for two years until its gradual reopening in June.
During the announcement, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “We are a nation that has flourished on the free movement of people, goods and capital.
“COVID-19, of course, interrupted all these benefits, but from October 11, Japan will ease border control measures to be on par with the United States, and resume visa-free travel and travel. individual.”
This followed a promise he made in May that the country would bring its border controls more in line with those of other G7 countries, such as the UK, France and Canada.
Before the pandemic, Japan had visa waiver agreements with nearly 70 countries and regions, including the United States, the European Union and many Asian neighbors.
Under the new rules, people from certain countries who are vaccinated will be able to travel to Japan without a visa.
Cheapest purchases in Japan for decades
Mr Kishida may also revise hotel regulations, allowing them to turn away guests who fail to adhere to infection controls, such as mask-wearing, during an outbreak.
It is hoped the changes will have a significant impact on the economy, with businesses and travel companies previously warning that the strict rules could cause the country’s economy to lag behind.
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On Thursday, the Japanese currency weakened beyond the important level of 145 yen to the dollar, making travel and purchases abroad in the country the cheapest in decades.
In June, the country officially lets tourists in for the first time in two years, but only about 8,000 arrived through July, compared to more than 80,000 visitors a day before the pandemic.