Japan will drop the need for visitors to the country to undergo pre-departure Covid tests – as long as they are vaccinated, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday.
The need for visitors to undergo tests will be lifted on September 7, the PM said. But no decision has been made yet on a reported plan to raise a daily cap on inbound travellers from 20,000 to 50,000.
“We will continue relaxing these measures gradually,” said Kishida, who addressed reporters online as he is recuperating from Covid at his official residence.
Japan has maintained some of the strictest pandemic border measures among major economies, requiring travellers to present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Kishida said in May that he wanted to bring Japan’s border measures more in line with those of other Group of Seven nations.
Japan in June opened up to tourists for the first time in two years, but requirements that they apply for visas and stick to guided, package tours have kept actual numbers of inbound visitors small.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard