Tourism agency discloses rules for new tour groups

The Japan Tourism Agency has issued guidelines for travel agencies as the country prepares to allow guided tour groups from Friday.

The guidelines released on Tuesday reflect the results of a test tour that visited Japan in late May. They require travel agencies to ensure that all tourists follow Japan’s infectious disease control measures.

Travel agencies are required to explain to participants that they will need private health insurance in case they need medical treatment in Japan, and to obtain their consent.

Officials say people may not be allowed to participate in tours if they don’t follow these procedures.

Tour guides must meticulously ensure that visitors observe anti-infective measures in various situations.

Travel agencies are asked to confirm in advance who they should contact at local government offices, in case a tourist is infected with the coronavirus. They are also required to show tourists a medical facility if they are infected and identify any close contacts.

Tourism Minister Saito Tetsuo said strict adherence to the guidelines will enable the smooth resumption of overseas tourism in Japan.