What is the current situation with the travel restrictions?
The short answer is- no tourists. And everyone else who has a visa can get in but needs to check with the appropriate travel authorities.
Students and technical interns
As of the first of March, international students can enter Japan provided they have the correct visa. According to Japanese immigration authorities, the vast number of students waiting to enter has forced them to increase the daily immigration limit from five thousand to seven thousand. And create an additional thousand entry spaces just for students.
The government also promised to prioritise students over business travellers on the days business travel is not in demand. Although, It is not entirely clear when these days are.
The new limitations become active from Monday the fourteenth of March.
Business travellers are allowed to enter. The same daily entry restrictions of seven thousand apply to business travellers.
As of right now, tourists won’t be allowed in. There is nothing concrete that indicates when that will change. But rumours suggest that the government will decide in the coming weeks.
The entry process
Everyone entering Japan is to follow the elaborate but arguably necessary entry procedure.
It involves passing the test and receiving a covid19 certificate before travel, completing at least one questionnaire and signing an agreement promising to follow the coronavirus prevention measures in Japan.
Once in Japan, pass another PCR test, submit all the documents and get the Japanese health monitoring app.
The quarantine times
Where and how long you have to quarantine is decided on your vaccination status and your port of departure.
At best, If you travel from a country not on the ‘designated’ list and have had your booster shot, you are likely free to go.
If your circumstances don’t live up to the strict standards, you might have to go through multiple tests and stay in the designated airport hotel for the first part of the quarantine. Altogether, it should not take longer than a week.
The pressure from domestic and foreign business and academic communities was the likely cause that inspired the introduction of the looser travel restrictions. There is still a limit on how many people can enter in a day, but there is hope that the numbers will see another increase soon.
And there is even hope for tourists. Gossip amongst the ones in the know hint towards the borders opening for tourism before the end of summer.
Be it for business or study, check with your local embassy and get all the help they give you. The up to date information is not easy to come by and changes rapidly. Because of this, even the immigration authorities might get things wrong so do your best to prepare before you travel.