From the beginning of next month, Japan and Thailand will both ease travel restrictions and testing requirements for international arrivals.
Japans chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced that from 1 June 2022, Japan will require no quarantine and no airport testing for arrivals from countries in the ‘low-rate group’ – which includes the entire G7 group of nations, which gives hope that Australia will also be included.
The government also announced that from June, Japan will be increasing international arrivals into the country from the current limit of 10,000 to 20,000 daily.
“This is Japan’s first major step towards reopening its borders to tourism,” said InsideJapan’s Co-founder, Simon King.
“Although 20,000 international daily arrivals is still a relatively small number, the removal of testing requirements paves the way for a considerable increase in daily entry numbers that will come with tourism.”
There will be further statements from the Japanese government to come after the previously announced ‘test tours’ due to take place at the end of this month.
“We believe that there is more significant easing of restrictions to come at the beginning of June and that Japan remains on track for a restart of inbound international tourism within the next few months. As a Japan travel specialist, this is hugely exciting. It cannot come soon enough,” added King.
InsideJapan has almost 2,500 people waiting to travel this year. Since Prime Minister Kishida’s recent speech in London, the Japan specialists have seen a sharp increase in enquiries and bookings for cultural adventures and small group tours from both direct clients and agent partners.
For international arrivals to Thailand, foreign nationals are required to apply for Thailand Pass, but will only need to provide passport details, vaccination, and a US$10,000 (AUD$14,100) health insurance policy.
The system will issue a Thailand Pass QR code for the applicants. Meanwhile, Thais will no longer be required to apply for Thailand Pass.
Upon arriving in Thailand, vaccinated travellers must undergo entry screening, and will then be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the Kingdom.
Unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated travellers who are able to upload proof of negative RT-PCR or professional ATK (rapid) test within 72 hours of travel via Thailand Pass system will also be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.
Japan and Thailand join a series of other countries also removing travel requirements.
New Caledonia, Tahiti, and Indonesia all recently removed pre-departure testing requirements. Thailand and Singapore dropped its testing requirements late last month and Fiji dropped it early this month.