The Japanese government is reportedly in the process of lifting border measures against COVID-19 at midnight on April 29th, ahead of the Golden Week holidays. The aim is to ease congestion at airports due to increased travel to and from foreign countries.
A formal decision is expected soon, with an announcement on April 28th. Currently, those arriving in Japan, including Japanese citizens returning home, must present a certificate of vaccination for three doses or a negative certificate within 72 hours before leaving their country.
Initially, it was scheduled to abolish the border measures on May 8th, after the consecutive holidays, when the position of the new coronavirus under the Infectious Diseases Law would be shifted to “5”, the same as seasonal influenza. However, the lifting of the border measures will now take place earlier than planned.
Purpose of the Move
The primary goal of the move is to ease the congestion at the airport due to the increase in traffic to and from foreign countries during the long holiday period. Currently, it is necessary for travelers, including Japanese nationals returning to Japan, to present a certificate of vaccination for three doses or a negative certificate within 72 hours before leaving the country. However, with the lifting of the border measures, such procedures will no longer be necessary.
Formal Decision and Announcement
A government official has stated that a formal decision on the lifting of the border measures will be made soon, and an announcement will be made on April 28th.
This decision to lift the COVID-19 border measures comes amid a challenging pandemic situation, with Japan still recording many deaths from the virus. As of April 26th, Japan has reported 13,094 new domestic infections, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week.
The decision also coincides with Japan’s selection as a “Cultural City of East Asia” in 2024, with the country keen to showcase its charm to the world.
Latest Japan COVID Restrictions
As of April 2023 (before the official border measure announcement), Japan has implemented various COVID-19 measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Here are some of the latest measures:
Starting from March 13, 2023, the use of masks will depend on personal choice. However, it is recommended to wear a mask in certain settings, such as medical institutions, visiting medical institutions and nursing homes, and crowded settings such as crowded commuter trains and buses (excluding those that permit seating for all passengers).
The Japanese government is actively promoting vaccination to protect people from COVID-19. Vaccines are available for free to all eligible residents in Japan, and the vaccination rollout is currently ongoing.
In case of symptoms, those who feel sick or test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home until their symptoms subside. If they have to go out for a hospital, they should avoid crowded settings and wear a mask. People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are also required to self-quarantine for a certain period.
The Japanese government has implemented various travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, including entry bans for certain countries, quarantine measures for international travelers, and restrictions on domestic travel.
The government is also encouraging people to practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding crowded places. In addition, various support measures are being implemented to help businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.
It is important to note that these measures may change depending on the situation and the government’s response to the pandemic. Therefore, it is recommended to stay updated on the latest information and follow the guidelines provided by the Japanese government and health authorities.
Japan COVID Measures FAQ
What are the COVID measures that will be lifted on April 29 in Japan?
The border measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted on April 29 in Japan. These measures required travelers entering Japan to show proof of vaccination with three doses or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure.
Why is the Japanese government lifting COVID measures before Golden Week?
The Japanese government is lifting COVID measures before Golden Week, which is a long public holiday in Japan, to ease congestion at airports due to increased travel during the holiday season.
Will travelers still need to take COVID tests upon arrival in Japan after April 29?
No, travelers entering Japan after April 29 will not need to take COVID tests upon arrival, nor will they need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.
What other COVID measures will remain in place after April 29 in Japan?
Despite the lifting of border measures, other COVID measures will still be in place. It is not yet clear what other COVID-19 measures will remain in place after April 29 in Japan.
How does the lifting of COVID measures affect the spread of the virus in Japan?
It is yet to be seen how the lifting of COVID measures will affect the spread of the virus in Japan. However, officials have warned that the risk of a surge in cases remains, and people should continue to take precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.