As of yet, there is still no definitive date when Japan will reopen to international travel, however there are promising signs with last week’s announcements about the proposed ending of domestic restrictions. On September 9, 2021 the government announced a plan to assist in the easing of restrictions on travel, dining and public events for vaccinated people.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that by November vaccines will have been administered to all people who wish to receive a shot. Currently 49% of Japan’s population (62 million people) have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Digital Vaccine Certs to be launched in December, intended for international travel [*Source: Nikkei Newspaper (Sep 5, 2021)]
- State of emergency has been extended until Sep 30th for 19 prefectures.
- Restaurants and bars will be able to serve beverages and stay open without restrictions or the risk of fines, by early October.
- Revive the ‘Go-To-Travel’ Campaign (introduced in 2020 for domestic travellers in an effort to boost domestic tourism) for fully vaccinated people.
- By November, they hope to no longer discourage fully vaccinated people from:
- Entering hospitals and nursing homes
- Cross border travel within Japan
- Attend large events
- Attend university classes in person
- Participate in extracurricular activities in schools
- Public dining for ‘special’ occasions such as funerals, weddings, school entrance, graduation
With the above in mind, our hopes for 2022 travel are much brighter.