Japan revises its guidelines for foreign tourists

The Japan Tourism Agency has revised its guidelines for overseas tourists. Foreigners can more freely enjoy stays in Japan, but individual travelers will still not be allowed to enter the country.

The Japanese government will ease restrictions for foreign travelers next week. Starting Wednesday, the government will allow tourists from all countries to enter Japan without taking a guided tour.

But only package tours in which the itineraries and accommodation arrangements are defined by travel agencies are permitted.

The destinations for the guided tours had been determined in advance. But in the future, tourists can freely decide their sightseeing and dining schedule during the day.

Travel agencies will be responsible for tours and will need to obtain phone numbers and other relevant contact information from tourists.

They will also be required to ask tourists to follow basic infection control measures, such as wearing face masks.

The Japan Tourism Agency says no foreign tourists have been reported infected with COVID-19 since Japan reopened to vacationers in June. The agency says it hopes to gradually increase the number of visitors, while taking thorough infection control measures.