California Observer

COVID-19: Japan reopens to tourists after two years of lockdown 

Image Source: Indian Express

Since 2020, Japan has been largely closed to international visitors due to the implementation of some of the most robust Covid-19 regulations in the world. Even as it prepares to open its borders to tourists from nearly 100 nations and regions on Friday, additional limitations are being implemented.

This includes the need for tourists to participate in a package tour. They must also get medical insurance and wear masks in public areas, including the outdoors.

Read Also: COVID-19: Shanghai starts to dismantle fences as lockdown ends

Tourists must also avoid the “three Cs”: crowded environments, closed spaces, and close contact settings, according to the rules.

The Japan Tourism Agency stated earlier this week that tour guides must accompany guests “from entry to departure” while reminding them of Covid rules such as mask use.

“At each point of the tour, tour guides should remind tour participants of important infection prevention measures, such as wearing and removing masks,” the CDC said in 16 pages of guidelines released Tuesday.

Despite this, travel bureaus claim that interest in visiting the country has increased.

Chan Brothers Travel, based in Singapore, announced that it had received bookings for 50 tour groups to Japan, each with up to 30 passengers.

Intrepid Travel’s managing director, Zara Bencheikh, stated a “great pent-up demand to visit Japan.”

From August onwards, her company plans to resume visits to famous places such as Mount Fuji. Ms. Bencheikh, on the other hand, stated that the Japanese authorities were still approving the project.

To slow the spread of Covid-19, Japan has prohibited most international tourists for the last two years. Overseas visitors were even barred from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which were postponed last year.

Foreign residents and business travelers have recently been allowed to travel freely throughout the country.
Japan said last month that the daily limit for foreign arrivals would be increased from 10,000 to 20,000.

According to Kentaro Koyama, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Japan, this “moderate reopening plan” will not benefit Japan’s economy, which is the world’s third-largest.

Read Also: COVID-19: Shanghai’s short lived ease of restriction

Before the epidemic, Japan’s tourist industry was booming, with 31.9 million foreign visitors in 2019. Fewer than 250,000 people attended last year.

However, the once-popular Asian tourist destination’s tourism economy still has a long way to heal.

Because of the restrictions, Rad Sappany informed the BBC that she would not be visiting Japan next month from Australia.

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