Japan To Allow Visa-Free Travel After 2 1/2 Years of Mostly Closed Borders
Tourists will need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, Kyodo News reported, citing government sources. A nationwide domestic travel program offering discounts for travel, entry to theme parks, and for sporting events and concerts is also set to start on Oct. 11. People who have been vaccinated three times or submit a negative test result will be eligible for the discounts, according to the report. The program offers financial assistance of up to $77 per person for a one-night stay. The moves will be welcomed by the nation’s tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. “In 2019, a record 31.88 million foreign travelers visited Japan, but the figure plummeted to about 250,000 in 2021 due to the closed borders,” notes the report. “The daily arrival cap has been raised gradually over the past six months, first to 5,000 on March 1 and eventually to the current 50,000.”
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