Japan to ditch all Covid entry requirements


Japan will next month ditch all remaining Covid border control measures and set it on the same classification as the flu from May 8.

The new rules mean visitors will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or present a negative test result.

The new shift is hoping to boost Japan’s visitor economy recovery, which is still languishing at around 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Like Australia, Japan still hasn’t seen a return of Chinese visitors in the numbers they used to.

Japan is also battling a staffing shortage in the tourism and accommodation industry. A survey by research firm Teikoku Databank showed 77 per cent in the hotel industry do not have enough full-time employees.

One bright spot has been the return of business travel between Australia and Tokyo which has skyrocketed since restrictions were lifted, according to Corporate Traveller.

“What the pandemic has done is give SME businesses a real chance to take a step back and evaluate where they want to business, who they want to do it with, and it’s clear the rush has been to Japan, Tokyo in particular,” said Tom Walley, global managing director of Corporate Traveller.

“The other trend we’ve seen is the strong return of meetings, events, and conferences, with Tokyo always an historical favourite for corporates.”