Japan on Tuesday announced that it would continue strict entry restrictions, essentially banning entry of non-nationals and residents until the end of February 2022.
The country closed its border for most non-national arrivals in March 2020 and later allowed resident non-nationals to return, and in late 2021 some business travelers and students. However, the latter group was soon banned due to the rise of the omicron covid-variant.
Here’s an excerpt from the Japan Times:
The prime minister said the government will maintain “the framework” of the current border restrictions until the end of next month.
While Japan will not accept new entries by foreign nationals and keep its daily cap on arriving passengers at 3,500, it will ease some other restrictions.
For instance, foreign nationals from 11 high-risk countries with the omicron variant will now be allowed to re-enter, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.
Those 11 countries are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
It is improbable that general visitors and tourists would be allowed to enter Japan anytime soon. Business people and international students may be able to enter again with a quarantine from sometime in March.
I had a blast in the country in 2020 when I was able to enter just before the border closed without a quarantine (I got in an hour before) and ended up spending the severe wave of Covid-19 there for a total of close to six months.
I cannot wait to return, but it might be late 2022 or 2023 before I am allowed in unless I am willing to go the business traveler route.