Travelers taking part in Japan’s reopening this month could be sent home if they disobey mask and health insurance rules. That is according to new guidelines released by Japan’s official tourism agency on Tuesday.
The rules are part of Japan’s plan to finally reopen to tourists for the first time since it shut down for the pandemic in 2020.
Starting on June 10, tourists will be able to enter Japan on package tours, but there will be strict rules depending on which country they are coming from and there will be a strict cap of 20,000 people per day at first.
Those rules include mask-wearing in crowded outdoor spaces and in most indoor spaces, and mandatory travel insurance, along with booking travel packages through a certified Japanese travel agency that will guide guests around crowded areas and into hotels and attractions with COVID-19 measures in place.
Those guides will also be tasked with monitoring the health of the guests while they are in Japan and making sure they go to a medical facility should they test positive for COVID-19.
Aside from those rules in-country, Japan has also set strict entry requirements. The country is employing a three-tiered system, with countries placed in different tiers depending on virus risk and different rules for each tier.
The United States and Canada, along with a long list of European countries, are in the Blue Group, which allows tourists to enter regardless of vaccination status with no home quarantine or on-arrival test. The other tiers are Yellow, which requires an on-arrival test and at least three-day quarantine, and Red, which requires a test and a three-day quarantine at a government-designated facility.
Travelers from those countries will still have to obey those previously mentioned rules on the ground, including requirements to wear face masks, sanitize hands, and buy private health insurance prior to arrival.
Japan is currently on the third level of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) COVID-19 Advisory List. The CDC recommends travelers “are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Japan.”