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Japan to Allow Tourist Groups as Soon as This Month: Report

  •  World
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Japan is set to experiment with opening its borders to small groups of vaccinated foreign tourists as soon as this month, ALJAZEERA reports.

Those wishing to visit must have undergone three Covid vaccination shots and be part of a package tour with a fixed itinerary, FNN said Friday, citing multiple government officials. The limited resumption of inbound tourism will be treated as an experiment and, if infections do not spread, the program would be expanded, it said.

The report came a day after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a speech in London that he planned to relax pandemic-related border restrictions in line with other wealthy democracies from June. He later added a note of caution, telling reporters he needed to look at the state of infections after a series of public holidays in late April and early May known as Golden Week.

Border easing would be welcomed by Japan’s tourism industry, which has been urging the government to allow in more overseas visitors to take advantage of the weakening yen. Until the pandemic, inbound travel was a rare bright spot for Japan’s economy as the number of foreign visitors expanded five-fold between 2011 and 2019.

“As soon as June, based on the opinions of experts, we will review coronavirus regulations, including border policies, in stages,” Kishida said late on Thursday. “We are still in a period of transition back to normal life.”

While Kishida didn’t mention masks, the government advises using them and the overwhelming majority of Japanese continue to wear them, both indoors and out.

 

 


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