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Japan allows tourists from selected countries

The Japanese government said that it will accept small-scale tours for vaccinated tourists from the four countries as a trial later this month toward the full-scale reception of foreign visitors planned for June

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Tokyo: Japan will allow the vaccinated tourists from four countries — the US, Australia, Thailand and Singapore — to have small-scale tours as a trial, the government said on Tuesday.

The Japanese government said that it will accept small-scale tours for vaccinated tourists from the four countries as a trial later this month toward the full-scale reception of foreign visitors planned for June, Kyodo News Agency reported.

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The country had closed its doors to foreign visitors since the early stage of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Since March, Japan had been relaxing its travel restrictions in phases, accepting business-people, technical interns and students, as the Covid situation got better.

During the trial phase, small groups will be allowed to go on fixed package tours limited to areas where prefectural governments have agreed to accept them so that their activities can be managed, Kyodo said.

The visitors who have taken the three Covid-19 shots will be able to take part, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

The experiment will be done to see if they can grasp people’s movements and learn how to respond if a Covid case is identified, when the borders open.

Currently, the Asian country has allowed 10,000 visitors a day, but it is considering to double the cap to 20,000 in June.

Amid Covid travel restrictions, the number of foreign tourists to the country in 2021 fell 99.2 per cent from the pre-pandemic year of 2019 to a record-low 245,900, according to Kyodo.

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