Japan Plans to Reopen Its Borders to Foreign Tourists in 2021

Japan Looking at Reopening its Borders to Foreign Tourists in 2021

Tourists will have to adhere to a three-step safety and tracking procedure!

Missing the Land of the Rising Sun? We’re sure travellers all over can relate. Japan has kept its borders shut to foreign tourists as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 in Japan would have brought in millions — if not a record-breaking number — of visitors had coronavirus never taken over. However, its postponement has effectively helped contain the spread of the coronavirus and prevented the health care system from collapsing. 

But here’s some good news for avid travellers and sports enthusiasts: The Olympics will take place in July 2021 regardless of the pandemic situation. This raises several issues pertaining to the lifting of entry bans for tourists. So what exactly does this mean for tourists looking to be in Japan at that time?

Reopening to tourists: precautions & what to expect


The Japanese government is hence discussing possible ways to keep the country coronavirus-free while allowing tourists to enter in time for the Olympics in 2021. According to officials, they are carrying out thorough investigations into how and when they will open the country to foreign tourists next year. 

Japan recently lifted the entry ban on non-citizen foreign residents in October. Opening the country to foreign tourists with careful consideration and extreme precautions would be the next step. 

Also read: Tokyo Disneyland Expands Area with New Rides and Food

Officials also revealed that they plan to have coronavirus countermeasures set up for international tourists by January next year, reported Soranews.

Japan will then allow foreign tourists to enter on a trial basis from April 2021. They will also continue to closely monitor the situation of the pandemic in both Japan and overseas, to tailor COVID-19 protocols accordingly. 

The government will aim to establish measures that track three steps of a tourists’ journey: arrival, stay, and departure. Furthermore, a health management app and a dedicated “fever centre” are in the works.  Foreign tourists who enter Japan will have to download the said health management app. Among the travel requirements for entry into Japan, of course, is a negative coronavirus test.

Also read: Singapore and Japan to Resume Essential Travel From September 2020

Reopening to tourists: procedures & protocols

japan reopening

Image credit: Jezael Melgoza

Upon arrival, those who test negative will not have to quarantine in a hotel. However, those who test positive will have to take out private medical insurance. All tourists will also have to report their health status on the app for 14 days upon entering Japan. 

Additionally, a separate centre tentatively called “Fever Health Consultation Support Centre” will be set up for foreign tourists. This is to ensure that the Japanese health system is not overwhelmed. The health centre will most likely be in Tokyo, reports confirmed.

Government officials stated that these safety measures will remain in place even after the Olympics as an attempt to revive international tourism.  However, the government noted that they need to address several pertinent issues before foreign tourists can enter. 

What do you think? Will Japan be able to pull this off? We certainly hope so. Till then, stay at home and keep safe!

About Author

Shreya Nair
Shreya Nair

Shreya believes that travelling is about making long-lasting memories. Her favourite part about travelling to a new country is collecting postcards and documenting her experiences. The immortality of the written word is what fuelled her love for writing. She hopes to someday combine her passion for writing and travelling!


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