As of September 7, 2022, Japan will continue with it's reopening to the world, and while there are still several requirements designed to keep all residents and visitors safe and healthy, the requirements are a great step towards reopening to the world.
As of September 7, 2022, travelers to Japan from the US who have had two COVID vaccines and one booster will no longer be subject to a pre-arrival COVID test requirement taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Since these travelers no longer need a COVID test upon arrival, now that the US has also eliminated a pre-arrival COVID test requirement, the sometimes expensive testing procedure has been eliminated. For persons who have not received three vaccinations, they will be required to quarantine for three days upon arrival in Japan.
Additionally, tourists are no longer required to join an organized tour group, as "self-guided" tours will be allowed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet issued guidance on what constitutes a self guided tour, but we are assuming that tourists will be required to book hotels through a tour company, and will be required to stay at those designated hotels, but sightseeing within each location will be at the discretion of the traveler.
Business travelers are not required to book hotel through a tour company, but will be required to submit an itinerary and will be expected to follow the itinerary.
All travelers from the US will now be allowed to apply for an "evisa" instead of submitting passports to the Japanese Consulate. The ERFS requirement remains, and all travelers must download the SOS app on their smart phones.
All travelers will be required to wear a mask in public places unless instructed otherwise, and most Japanese in Japan wear masks in all public places, including outdoors. Visitors are advised to do likewise.
While Japan remains one of the strictest countries in terms of admission of visitors, these measures are a good start.
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