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Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers: media

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By Rocky Swift and Elaine Lies

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Bold move.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Who in the right mind would want to come to the country with the most Covid cases in the World for the past month?

-15 ( +24 / -39 )

Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers: media

Is Japan really going to verify if the letter is actually from a medical clinic or whatever?

I don't think so.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Great news!!!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

The government may soon waive tests for vaccinated passengers,

Basically waiving the tests for travellers from countries who have access to certain vaccines

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Borders are opening up even more than they already are …. What’s the new complaint ? Must be vaccinated or get a negative PCR test result ….. seems the jgov is being more than reasonable.!. Come on Sanji.!.

-26 ( +5 / -31 )

Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers: media

This title is inintelligible.

Are there pre-departure and post-departure COVID tests?

Why does the title reiterates that it only applies to inbound travelers?

The punch line "[...]: media", What does it means?

-26 ( +6 / -32 )

Who in the right mind would want to come to the country with the most Covid cases in the World for the past month?

People outside of Japan have figured out long ago that case count is irrelevant and are no longer afraid of Covid. Those that are still afraid are at home wearing a mask in the shower.

5 ( +27 / -22 )

Who in the right mind would want to come to the country with the most Covid cases in the World for the past month?

Lol hahaha is it your first time here? Everyday people here are crying for the borders to be opened (which is impossible to do actually)

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Once again, several months late and several steps behind other countries on reopening. Japan has become a full fledged circus of a country. There's no point in trying to reason with them anymore. Japan, its government, and its defenders simply need to be ridiculed until they hate what they see in the mirror. Because to everyone else, this country has come to be defined by one thing and one thing alone: Covid. Japan has no other identity beyond Covid.

-2 ( +20 / -22 )

People outside of Japan have figured out long ago that case count is irrelevant

But they are only irrelevant to dumb people because they are meaningless to them

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

Are there pre-departure and post-departure COVID tests?

Yes and no

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The issue is not the pre-departure test, this is a smokescreen by the government in an attempt to show that they are aligning with the G7. In reality, since the decleration in May, the PM has done nothing! However, its clear to see how nationals are easily duped, they just voted for the Unification Church to run the country.

If people want to travel, the test is a part of that cost, much like buying new clothes, for some African countries you need proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. All this does is lessen the costs of Japanese residents and nationals when they want to return.

The problem that remains is that of the inability to get a visa, or the re-introduction of the visa waiver status.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Those that are still afraid are at home wearing a mask in the shower.

wow so many scared of a bit of cloth lol

make sure youre vaxxed, Japan may soon not reuire a covid test. but theyll still require proof of vaccine status. This is going to trigger so many , and its great LOL

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

Everyday people here are crying for the borders to be opened (which is impossible to do actually)

What is impossible about it?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

ian - pray tell why it is “impossible” to open up the borders. As far as I understand it would just take one decision from the powers that be to revert to the pre-pandemic rules… am I missing something?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

*“ Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests … “*

*“ Japan may lift requirements for pre-departure COVID-19 tests … “*

.. I guess we’ll know after 57 meetings ..

; ..

they sure love their “kaigis” ..

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

ian - pray tell why it is “impossible” to open up the borders

It's not closed

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

This policy doesn't make much sense to me because the vast majority of COVID cases are breakthrough vaccinated cases. Vaccinated and unvaccinated both transmit COVID. The CDC even relaxed guidelines and guiding vaccinated and unvaccinated cases with the same measures. Also, they do no recommend quarantine for those exposed to COVID positive people and those that are asymptomatic.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

This is great! No more paying extra money for travelling! Oh wait, the surcharges...

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@ian

Can anybody fly in and out Japan? Anyone? Really?

I don't think you know the actual border situation.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

And just how many vaccines will we need? They require a minimum of three at the moment in Japan for non-Japanese inbound travelers (one the the few places that do), but will they make it four, plus the new Pfizer one coming out? We need clear guidelines, and many months in advance, thank you very much!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers: media

This title is inintelligible

Only to you it seems

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Om Prakash, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, encouraged the government to align its border travel polices with other G7 countries "to restore Japan's reputation as a welcoming and open place."

As always as history teach us they need a push from Europeans and Americans to realign themselves with the modern world and don’t fall in oblivion (again).

I’m pretty sure the J-government eventually will ease all the non sense restrictions to foreigners about COVID but just because they need to save face when Kishida or the next LDP blue blood will sit among the leaders of G7.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

What’s with all the negativity? All the NMA (Negative Mental Attitudes) ? This coming decision is what many of you have be clamoring for…. No pre departure PCR test…. So the jgov is bending over backwards to accommodate your needs and now it’s oh no … for vaccinated travelers…. I don’t know what other countries charge , but from LAX or SFO, a pre departure PCR test and negative certificate is only $16.00…. So the jgov rightfully believes that highly responsible people are vaccinated and highly irresponsible/dangerous people are not .!. Seems fair .!.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

Y’all also need to stop with the race cards! The current guidelines are for all entering Japan…. Regardless of nationality or country of residence.!.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Once again, several months late and several steps behind other countries on reopening. 

Lead from the rear.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

O.M.G. at long last!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Baby steps, I guess.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A move to be welcomed. Bring it on!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is rapidly becoming the new PRC. No tourists except for government minded groups. Only people that contribute to Japan with business or educational interests will be allowed in non-minded.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Yes, this would make me consider traveling again. The risk of the trouble that a positive pre departure test would bring is the one thing that has stopped me from leaving for the last 2.5 years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Clipity,

Japan, per say did not but almost every arrival country did so it was a deaf to requirement.

As the US has pulled its requirements, no pcr test is required outbound to the states as well as several other countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Pulling the inbound requirements for vaccinated travelers would be huge. Getting it within the time limitations usually required me to get a same day pcr test (as well as for the Mrs. and the kids) at around $200 (I cannot remember exact pricing) a pop.

And further upping (or scrapping altogether) the daily cap would be a big help to the economy.

Safe and effective vaccines - proven therapeutics - its time.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

“default” apologies.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Steven McCarthy, you’re completely misreading this article. Currently anyone looking to enter Japan, foreign or local, needs a negative PCR test result 72 hours before they board the flight. The borders are not as open as you think and nowhere near as open as precovid

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"Along with taking every measure to prevent contagion..."

So they still think we'll bring the virus with us? Seems like good news/bad news week on the border front.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To be honest, things would be way simpler if Japan dropped the requirement for their very own Certificate of Testing for Covid form. It was quite a challenge for me to find a place where they were comfortable to sign this piece of paper. Especially as the system in EU was set up to take a sample (not necessarily in a hospital or by a doctor), send them to a lab, lab putting the result it into an online system, you getting an SMS/email.

Now it's even more difficult as many of the collection spots have been closed in EU (PCR tests no longer required) or run only on a limited schedule so it can be very tricky to get tested in the 72 hours window and get the required JP confirmation.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers: media

This title is inintelligible.

Are there pre-departure and post-departure COVID tests?

Why does the title reiterates that it only applies to inbound travelers?

The punch line "[...]: media", What does it means?

Agree. I thought the pre-departure COVID test applied to everyone. Could be a Japanese national returning from a holiday, a returning English teacher who wanted to go home during the summer break, any other foreigner working in Japan etcetera.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So let me get this straight...

If I was daft enough to book a guided tour in Japan from the UK this new move would mean I could travel to Japan without taking a PCR test... as long as I was fully vaccinated and with boosters... and with a tourist Visa... and with health insurance... and book it through a Japanese approved travel agency?

Baby steps I suppose.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan allows tourists in as part of organized tours only - will likely have more appeal among elderly travelers - the exact demographic that are most at risk of hospitalization if they do get COVID.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No Thomas ….. I didn’t .!. Read the feed … some are seriously confused about departure procedures…. And I clearly stated just the current guidelines… .!. Which is currently and for quite some time, Japan has not required a PCR test to depart Japan …..

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I know how bad this sounds, but ...can you wait for a couple of months? I just paid $825 for my family of 3 to get those silly tests. I don't think I could take it you removed the requirement next week.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Can i get a refund for the six tests we just had to get done before we came back two weeks ago. Ffs

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I know how bad this sounds, but ...can you wait for a couple of months? I just paid $825 for my family of 3 to get those silly tests. I don't think I could take it you removed the requirement next week.

Aren't those tests valid only for 72 hours prior to departure?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I just paid $825 for my family of 3 to get those silly tests.

Crikey, you’ve had your pants massively pulled down.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Initial reports are saying that they will be asking for people to be at least 3 times vaccinated.

If they follow the same rules they are using for people from yellow and red countries to have less restrictions, they will also only allow a very limited number of vaccines, and a very limited number of certificates of such vaccines.

People who are fully vaccinated but not boosted are out of luck.

People who do not have access to the approved vaccines, but are still fully vaccinated and boosted with some other vaccine, are out of luck.

People who are fully vaccinated and boosted with some approved vaccine, but happens to live in a country for which Japan doesn't recognize their vaccination certificates, are out of luck.

Who this is going to benefit the most is Japanese travelers, like most of the so called "lifting of restrictions".

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It's all about the YEN and not the yang!!!

"Along with taking every measure to prevent contagion, we'll also promote economic activity - and with border control measures, we'll relax them in stages while keeping these two things in balance,"

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ha ha ha!

More like come to Japan and get Covid as happened to me…

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

My family and I are due to visit Japan to see my wife's family in 3 weeks. I recovered from a short bout of Covid a month ago but I'm still testing positive. This change can't come soon enough for us.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Who this is going to benefit the most is Japanese travelers, like most of the so called "lifting of restrictions".

Who do you want to benefit the most then?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lets celebrate and Kanpai with a six pack of Corona :)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Will there be an ARRIVAL Covid PCR test requirement??? Will there be ANY quarantine upon arrival CRAP??

Just open up....Thailand is totally open....Korea is open with only test prior to boarding and a test upon arrival..OPEN up for tourists....come on...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Who in the right mind would want to come to the country with the most Covid cases in the World for the past month?

People who:

a. are interested in visiting Japan

b. are not COVID-phobic

c. are not living in paralyzing, life-shutting-down fear over a virus with a 99.9% chance of being no more serious than a flu or a bad cold

d. don't subscribe to mandatory emotions or opinions, such as the ones saying we must cower in constant fear of COVID and let it dictate every act in our lives

e. treat themselves and each other as human beings, rather than dehumanizing themselves and others by treating them as health hazards

f. are done with living in an online, Zoom-infested, dystopian, isolated "stay home" universe

In other words, people who know that being alive doesn't mean just being alive biologically -- it also means actually getting out and living.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Good. Get rid of it, and the sooner, the better.

You can test negative for COVID 71 hours and 30 minutes before your flight to/back to Japan ... and still catch it a day or two later before boarding, or on the flight.

Thus, the 72-hour rule is (like so many other things with COVID) just a case of politicians giving the appearance of "doing something" and "taking strong action" for optics' sake. It's just theater.

Same thing with masks, by the way, but that's another topic (albeit a related one).

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Who do you want to benefit the most then?

Non-residents. I mean, most of the people who entered Japan before 2020 were non-residents, temporary visitors.

Most of them cannot even come, and those who can, have to follow these ridiculous guidelines.

For example, my parents are from Mexico, and I'm trying to get them into Japan. Even being vaccinated, because of the vaccines they give in Mexico, and the fact that Mexico's vaccine certificates are not allowed, this rule will not apply at all to them just for living in the wrong country.

These measures were supposedly put in place for "health reasons", but have just become plain immigration restrictions with more to do with the country of origin than with actual health.

The fact that Japan right now has one of the largest number of infected people, yet pretends to be so worried about covid getting into the country, specially from foreigners, and they put so many restrictions to foreigners just for being foreigners tells the whole story.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If Japan wishes to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, and boost tourism, etc. . . . does it make sense to lower the security requirements, (i.e. Covid testing for inbound travelers) when doing so may result to a return of increasing number of infections?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

At this rate what difference does it make if the traveller is vaccinated or not? Everyone around me who's getting it is vaccinated, so it clearly makes little difference.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Even being vaccinated, because of the vaccines they give in Mexico, and the fact that Mexico's vaccine certificates are not allowed, this rule will not apply at all to them just for living in the wrong country

Interesting. Mexico is on the blue list, what makes you think that Mexico's vaccine certificates won't be valid? Japan accepts a wide range of vaccines, what did your folks get?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My family and I are due to visit Japan to see my wife's family in 3 weeks. I recovered from a short bout of Covid a month ago but I'm still testing positive.

Some people can test positive for 30-60 days. Don't let it ruin your trip. Just print out their pdf, fill it out and send a picture of it. You don't need a signature anymore.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

At this rate what difference does it make if the traveller is vaccinated or not? Everyone around me who's getting it is vaccinated, so it clearly makes little difference.

It doesn't. Especially when they wear off in a couple of months.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I think sick person or those whom effected by corona virus cannot travel from one country to other country. corona virus is not an easy health problem. therefore, some pre-departure tests or restriction is only increasing the cost of traveling or entering Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

simple message. Pre departure PCR tests gone from point of departure abroad if you are triple vaxxed. Effectively back to normal for me then. 30 minutes deplaning at Haneda to home. Not bothered if they reinstate visa free travel for tourists etc for moment. After 30 months of this nonsense, great.

Anti Vaxxers…sorry, tough luck.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Hakman  09:46 pm

I have big news for you!

COVID restrictions are already over in most of the industrialized world.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

It doesn't. Especially when they wear off in a couple of months.

Vaccinated people get less sick, so perhaps they are considering the effect that unvaccinated patients could have on the health service here, which is fairly stretched at the moment.

If they drop the 72hr PCR test, they may well insist that tourists have travel insurance that covers medical issues. We shouldn't expect Japan to open up fully overnight.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Time for Japan to open up and follow what the G7 and USA are doing as far as letting people enter Japan. Japan is a signatory to the Visa Waiver program and is not following such now. The USA and all G7 members should tell Japan that unless you start following the conditions of the Visa Waiver Program, they are going to demand visas from Japanese visiting their countries. That I think would expedite Japan once again following Visa Waiver. If you want proof of vaccination and boosters fine, but follow what other industrialized democracies are doing.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

But I'm guessing everyone still has to have chaperones at all times and go on group tours, so no thank you, I will still be recommending people visit South Korea and other more open nations instead.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Finally! Something logical for once.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

20,000 to 50,000 is vague at best. Does this mean an additional 30,000 government sponsored tours?

Opening the borders to various longer term visa types such as “Cultural Activities” as well as the standard 90 day tourist visa would be of greater benefit to ailing businesses and organizations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just rubs salt in the $150 wound (the test I'll be taking tomorrow so I can return from a place with very low infection rates to Japan, with the highest in the world.) And Japanese will no doubt feel I'm endangering them.

Sigh.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I quite like the Japanese approach to rule-following - and indeed mask wearing - way pre pandemic - was in Japan for 8 months recently - Kanto - I do not know anyone who has had COVID - been in Canada for 1.5 months - where folks just don't mask-up - I know 2 people in a rural town who had it. There are more people in Kanto than there are in Canada -

Attitudes are one thing - fact-based decision making is something quite different

I don't think we gaijins should be telling the Japanese what's what

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A reasonable move, finally. I was a bit worried that Kishida under covid treatment might seek zero-covid policy if he worsened.

In the zero covid neighboring country, they are now imposing PCR tests on fish and some animals! :) Covid must have damaged their brains ....

Covid in China: Hippo, fish and crabs get PCR tests

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-62610739

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan doesn't make any money from these tests anyway.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I don't think we gaijins should be telling the Japanese what's what

Agreed. Let them figure it out on their own as Japan sinks further into global irrelevance.

That being said, Japan IS a signatory to the US Visa Waiver Program, and has been since 1988. If they are unwilling to honor the agreement, then Japanese nationals should be prevented from boarding flights to the US for any reason without a proper entrance visa.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"That being said, Japan IS a signatory to the US Visa Waiver Program, and has been since 1988. If they are unwilling to honor the agreement, then Japanese nationals should be prevented from boarding flights to the US for any reason without a proper entrance visa."

Lol why would the US care?

Why would they stop Japanese from coming to the US and spending money?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan eyes lifting of pre-departure COVID tests for inbound vaccinated travelers:

It is ridiculous that they still discriminate against non-vaccinated people. Sadly, Japan seems still bowing to Big Pharma. Even the American CDC has not changed its rules to acknowledge that the same rules should apply regardless of vaccination status. Sad!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Yatta Yatta! Time to get ready for homu!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Another article in Japan Today stated, “The number of coronavirus-related deaths was a record daily high 340.” The proposed action by the government to do away with pre departure testing for inbound foreign travelers is a smack-in-the-face to medical workers trying to save lives. Japan must immediately close its borders and follow the exemplary lead of China’s zero COVID policy.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Vaxxed or unvaxxed, you still carry COVID, simply ask Mr Kishida.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

May do this or may do that.

Load of BS.

Talk is cheap.

The great leader of Asia

Not.

If you think think this is great news then don't get yer hopes up.

It isn't news at all.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

All of the gestures (20K entries per day, militantly guided tours) were never meant to increase the amount of visitors, they were meant to get the rest of the G7 off Japan's back. They were nowhere near the 20K to begin with, it's a hollow made-up number. And nobody wants to go on their little Japan tours anyway.

My guess is that the new announcement is due to some closed-door diplomacy with other G7 countries who are ready to apply reciprocity to Japanese visitors and let their Japanese counterparts damn-well know it.

And they should. Cut the crap, or no Japanese enters the US or EU without first applying for a visa. And then when you get here, you have to report your daily movements to the government.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes @Andy, True. But being vaxxed means I won't have to have an expensive PCR and not spend a few days worrying about whether I will actually be able to get on my return flight. Win win. Quit moaning.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You can be "Fully Vaccinated", yet, as even President Biden of the United States has proven, still have the virus, and be Contagious....

I would not like to be sitting next to a Vaccinated COVID positive passenger for a 14 hour flight to Japan.... let alone someone who has a nasty cold or otherwise - but I would I guess, have no choice once having purchased a ticket, and even if vaccinated, I'd probably catch the virus from them, and then transmit it onto others....

I think we need to rethink confined travel as a whole. Passengers who exhibit symptoms of any issues (COVID, Flu, MonkeyPox, etc.) should be stopped from travelling - and Insurance should be mandatory, to cover the cost of travel plans in the case of such a situation arising....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How long will it be before you need to be lining up for another shot in the arm?

And why isn’t it mandatory at Japanese airports that people are being tested before leaving?

Japanese are actually spreading the virus.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Thats right @JTC - You would have no choice once your ticket is purchased. So, good incentive for all to get fully vaxxed and prevent a hospital visit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

About time, stop the requirement for visitors needing visas if they come from a former visa waved country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interesting. Mexico is on the blue list, what makes you think that Mexico's vaccine certificates won't be valid? Japan accepts a wide range of vaccines, what did your folks get?

About the source of the vaccine certificate, it is because the Japanese government had a list of limited places from where the certificates were accepted ( https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/files/100244504.pdf ).

This list was latter replaced with a list of vaccines they allow ( https://www.anzen.mofa.go.jp/covid19/certificate_to_Japan.pdf ), which are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen, COVAXIN and Novavax.

Most of the vaccines given in Mexico (you cannot choose) are Sinovac and Sputnik V.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just print out their pdf, fill it out and send a picture of it. You don't need a signature anymore.

Problem with that is that some airlines go beyond just what the government is asking, so it isn't really a safe choice to do that, because some airlines will ask you to show them the actual signed result of the test.

Not to mention that if the Japanese government gets the fact that you are making false statements, you can get in legal trouble.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Anti Vaxxers…sorry, tough luck.

Small children that cannot get booster shoots, I guess they are antivaxxers as well. Tough luck for their intentions of a family trip.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Luis David Yanez: No - we do not know the conditions yet and would be foolish to speculate on the under 16's or 18's. Anybody else - I repeat, tough luck.

I would hope that those under 16 or 18 would be exempt.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@kurisupisu: Why would / should it be mandatory to have a test before leaving Japan? I'm not aware of that having been the case anywhere during the Pandemic FROM anywhere unless it was a requirement of the DESTINATION country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I will resume cross border traveling when all these rules and restrictions are lifted, vaxxed or not.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's done. No more COVID tests required for people who've been vaccinated up to at least the first booster shot.

It'll be as of September 7th.

NHK BS-1 reported it around an hour ago.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's done. No more COVID tests required for people who've been vaccinated up to at least the first booster shot.

It'll be as of September 7th.

NHK BS-1 reported it around an hour ago.

Sorry, forgot to clarify that this is for entry or re-entry into Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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