Japan to open to tourists from June 10 but only with masks, insurance, guides

According to a Reuters report, foreign tourists visiting Japan will be required to wear masks, take out private medical insurance and be chaperoned throughout their stay, the government said, as it plans a gradual opening from two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

Only visitors on package tours will be allowed in during the first phase of reopening, from June 10, the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) said, adding that travel agency guides accompanying visitors will have to ensure they wear their masks.

“Tour guides should frequently remind tour participants of necessary infection prevention measures, including wearing and removing masks, at each stage of the tour,” the JTA said in its guidelines.

“Even outdoors, the wearing of masks should continue in situations where people are conversing in close proximity.”

Japan has imposed some of the strictest border controls in the world over the course of the pandemic, banning the entry of almost all non-residents.

As most of the rest of the world opens up from COVID lockdowns, Japan is also relaxing its rules. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to bring border measures into line with other wealthy nations.

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