Japan to relax Covid travel restrictions and grant entry to independent tourists

Japan’s strict border restrictions will be loosened next month, the prime minister announced Thursday, allowing tourists to easily enter for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

NEW YORK — Japan’s strict border restrictions will be loosened next month, the prime minister announced Thursday, allowing tourists to easily enter for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

In a news conference at the foot of Central Park in New York, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said independent tourists would again be welcomed as of Oct. 11, not just those traveling with authorized groups.

A cap on the number of tourists who are granted entry — which has been gradually increased this year — will be nixed altogether. And visa requirements that were imposed in response to the pandemic will also be rescinded.

Japan’s tough Covid-19 restrictions have sent the number of visitors plummeting and its tourism industry reeling. Though foreign tourists were welcomed back in June after a pause of more than two years, the reopening has been confusing to many seeking to visit.

A previous announcement billed as an easing of the group tour rule turned out, for many tourists, to be anything but — introducing a convoluted process requiring obtaining clearance via a Japanese travel agent, often with hefty fees or commissions attached.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/japan-loosen-covid-travel-restrictions-grant-entry-independent-tourist-rcna49066


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