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Japan to open borders in 3 phases

Original date of publication: October 1, 2020

Cheap car rental Japan Kemwel

Kemwel - The latest country to descale its full-scale COVID-19 travel ban is Japan that will start welcoming foreign visitors on October 1 - but not tourists, at least not immediately. While international tourism isn’t taking precedence, authorities intend to open its borders in three phases in hopes of re-stimulating first the economy. Travelers from nations that have effectively controlled the virus such as New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam will reportedly be among the top invitees.

The travel phases in Japan are as follow:

  • Phase 1 for Japan travel: Essential and Business Travelers
  • Phase 2 for Japan travel: Students and Educators
  • Phase 3 for Japan travel: Tourists

Requirements to travel to Japan

Kyodo News recently reported that newcomers to Japan will need to test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in addition to a 14-day quarantine. This period of self-isolation includes refraining from using metros and other public transit systems that tend to be packed from corner to corner with passengers. Authorities are also considering a potential maximum daily limit of 1,000 travelers as an added precaution.

Recently Japan also introduced an online health questionnaire for travelers to fill out prior to entering the country. The purpose of this was to expedite the process as well as to simplify the immigration control process. This way, it will be easier for authorities to flag “at risk” travelers sooner than later, allowing them to better monitor those infected with the virus. Sources say that newcomers to Japan can access the document on the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry website with QR codes provided for completion confirmations.

Japan’s response to COVID-19

Not nearly impacted as other parts of the world with COVID, the Land of the Rising Sun announced a national state of emergency in April without ever imposing a full-scale lockdown. Fast forward today and Japan has reported 83,000 cases with approximately 1,500 deaths; remarkably low numbers compared to other major economies. Back in May Japan lifted restrictions for citizens and encouraged domestic travel, including renting cars in Japan to allow plenty of social distancing. This was actually a huge nationwide endeavor considering that Japanese national parks even installed WiFi plus workstation to allure remote workers to “outdoor office spaces”


  • Travel and Leisure: Japan begins to reopen its borders for international travel
  • Kyodo News: Japan to make COVID-19 travel questionnaire available online