At long last, Japan ends Covid travel rules

Vaccinations and test certificates no longer required for inbound travellers entering the country.

Japan has scrapped all border measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 since 29 April.
Japan has scrapped all border measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 since 29 April. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/tokyo studio

Japan has scrapped all border measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19. Effective from midnight on 29 April, travellers now entering Japan from other destinations will no longer be required to present a valid vaccination certificate or a Covid-19 negative test certificate within 72 hours of departure.

The Japanese government originally intended to lift all remaining Covid restrictions on 8 May, but the earlier lifting of the measures is aimed at easing the return for Japanese after travelling overseas during the Golden Week holiday period.

Furthermore, measures that were being implemented for all travellers and returnees arriving from China by direct flights (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), which included random sampling tests, have also been scrapped. The switch to sample testing was originally introduced in March to ease border controls.

Sample testing has now been replaced with testing on arrival for those who show symptoms. These measures apply to all other travellers and returnees; those who test positive will be required to quarantine at a designated facility.

China also announced that from 29 April, travellers will no longer be required to undertake PCR tests, with authorities instead accepting negative rapid antigen test results, taking within 48 hours before boarding. Airlines are also not required to make any checks prior to departure.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning addressed reporters last week and said the steps were being taken to facilitate cross-border travel, guided by 'the principle of ensuring safe and orderly travel'.