Japan eases travel advisory for Thailand, 35 others nations
Non-essential trips allowed
Kyodo News and AFP
Travellers line up to board a Hawaii-bound flight from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport during Japan’s “Golden Week” holidays on April 29, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)
TOKYO: Japan on Thursday eased its travel warning for 36 countries and areas, including Thailand, the United States, Britain, Canada and Hong Kong, over the Covid-19 pandemic, no longer asking Japanese citizens to avoid non-essential trips to the areas.
The Foreign Ministry lowered its travel advisories for those countries, which also include Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, from the third-highest Level 2 on its four-point scale to Level 1, which advises Japanese nationals travelling to those regions to “stay fully alert.”
In addition, advisories for other 15 nations and areas were downgraded from Level 3, which warns to avoid all travel, to Level 2. Among them are seven in the Middle East and Africa, six in Europe and two in Latin America.
“On the whole, the world is seeing a downward trend in the number of new infection cases and deaths, and the risk of suffering severe symptoms and deaths has been seen receding,” the ministry said in a press release.
Meanwhile, 109 nations and regions remained under the Level 2 warning, including 30 in Asia, such as China, South Korea and India, as well as 35 European nations, including Germany, France, and Italy. At the same time, 41 countries were left unchanged at Level 3.
A Shinkansen bullet train travels past a rice paddy field at dusk in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, on May 23, 2022. (Photo: Blooomberg)
Japan will also expand the number of airports that accept international flights to seven, adding Naha in its southern Okinawa prefecture and New Chitose near Sapporo in northern Hokkaido.
All arrivals have to test negative before travel to Japan and many must be tested again on arrival, though triple-vaccinated people coming from certain countries can skip the additional test as well as a three-day quarantine required for others.
Just how many people will be able to take advantage of the careful reopening is unclear as Japan is planning to double a daily entry cap, but only to 20,000.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said he wants to ease border control measures, but moves are expected to proceed slowly, with strong public support for the current restrictions.
Japan welcomed a record 31.9 million foreign visitors in 2019 and had been on track to achieve its goal of 40 million in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic hit.