There have been no changes in the entry restrictions since the last report. If you are aware of the current entry restrictions, you can skip to the COVID-19 and Olympics section.
At this time, tourists from any country are not allowed to enter Japan. There has been no indication from the Japanese government when that may change.
Only Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status will be allowed to enter Japan. People with “exceptional circumstances” and athletes and coaches who will be competing in the Olympics are also allowed to enter Japan. For those Japanese citizens and foreign residents that have visited the UK or South Africa within the last 14 days, they will be required to prove a negative test withing 72 hours of departure to Japan, test negative upon arrival, quarantine for 3 days at a designated location and then quarantine at home for 11 days. People entering Japan with “exceptional circumstances” and Olympic athletes and coaches will have to quarantine for 14 days at a quarantine hotel.
For those Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status who have not visited the UK and South Africa, they will have to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure for Japan, test negative upon arrival in Japan and are not allowed to use public transportation for 14 days and quarantine at home for 14 days.
Vaccinations have begun in Japan. Medical personnel has been the first group to receive the vaccinations. Vaccinations for 65 and over has begun. The Japanese government decided not to resume the popular “GoTo” travel campaign until June at the earliest. This campaign was started to help the domestic travel industry.
Due to a large increase in the number of cases, eight prefectures have announced tighter restrictions. In addition, a state of emergency has been declared for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures until May 11. Osaka has already indicated they will be extending the state of emergency. There have been a very large number of cases in Osaka and Tokyo, and there have been more new cases in Osaka for the last few days than in Tokyo. As is the case in the rest of the world, these increases have been among young people. The number of serious cases in the country has hovered near record numbers for a week or so.
There are signs the spike in the number of new cases has started to at least plateau and even decrease. The Japanese government has announced vaccine passports for Japanese citizens traveling internationally, but have not made any decisions regarding accepting vaccine passports from international tourists. In a recent survey, 98% of the public stated they wear masks everywhere in public, including outdoors.
The last week has been Golden Week, normally a very busy travel period in Japan. The number of people traveling this Golden Week is less than normal but higher than Golden week last year.
The torch relay started on March 25. About 10,000 torchbearers will run through 859 municipalities across all 47 prefectures, with parts of the 121-day journey encompassing famous locations such as the Great Buddha in Nara, the Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome and Mount Fuji. The relay will end on July 23 at the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo at the opening ceremony.
The Tokyo Olympic Committee pledged to hold 18 test events — which function as dress rehearsals for each sport — in a “safe and secure” manner, to see what they can “learn as we work towards the games.” However, one of the events (fencing) had to be cancelled because many of the qualifying events around the world had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
It was announced that starting today, any Olympic athletes arriving in Japan to practice for the Olympics will not be required to quarantine. Also, no spectators will be allowed to the first few “test” events. It has been decided that athletes competing in the Olympics will have to either stay at the athletes center or at a hotel. They will not be allowed to use public transportation, and cannot dine at restaurants other than at the center or hotel. The decision on the spectator cap will be made in June.
There is currently an international diving competition in Tokyo at this time. There are about 225 competitors from 46 countries competing. There are no spectators allowed.
As of May 5
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