Japan will be reopening to visitors on package tours next month as the country takes the first tentative steps in a tourism restart.
From June 10 a limited number of foreign visitors will be able to visit, providing they are from a list of "safe countries" and they are booked in approved guided tours.
Independent travellers will not be able to enter the county at this moment.
With small-scale "tests" underway, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the country was satisfied that some international tourism could resume.
"We will resume accepting tourists on package tours with guides from the 10th of next month," PM Kishida said in Tokyo.
It was only this year that the country began easing strict covid travel restrictions. Prior to 2020 foreign tourism was worth 4.81 trillion yen ($58 billion), bringing in 31.9million visitors a year. However, this was all but stopped in March 2020, resulting in millions of cancelled trips and a delayed Tokyo Olympics without audiences.
This is slowly changing.
As part of the tests 10,000 travellers are allowed to enter the country a day. This limit will be increased to 20,000 in June in time for the group tours restart.
A representative for travel specialists Inside Japan, said they welcomed the news of the country's move towards resuming international travel.
"Yes the steps are small, but they are coming rapidly," said Harry Sargant.
The travel company is one of several taking part in the tourism tests groups in-country.
The announcement that travellers will soon be able to book onto tours without an invitation is positive news after over two years, however full details are yet to come.
Currently only four countries have been allowed to take part in the tests - Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
"We are currently trying to get more info about which group tours will be allowed," he says.
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Japan's new entry requirements
Those allowed to enter Japan under the new travel rules will still need to provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, signed and stamped by the laboratory where it was taken. Although arrivals are no longer required to self-isolate, they will have to provide accommodation and travel details for first two weeks and avoid public transport. This will presumably be covered a by the travel itinerary of approved group tours.
From June 10, international tour groups will be able to enter the country, from "low risk" countries.
While in Japan individual prefectures will have their own rulings on on crowd sizes and face coverings.