Singapore added to Japan’s blue list; no on-arrival test or quarantine required

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From 1 June, travellers from Singapore will not require on-arrival testing or quarantine in Japan- but leisure travellers must join approved tour groups.

Japan’s will-they-won’t-they reopening dance continues in earnest, as the country prepares to welcome tour groups from 10 June 2022, the first leisure travellers since borders were closed more than two years ago. 

Japan is preparing to reopen to tour groups | Photo: Bloomberg

It’s a far cry from the claim that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made in early May that Japan would be as easily accessible as other G7 nations from June — last I checked, the USA, Canada, Germany et al. didn’t require North Korea-style tour groups with strictly-controlled itineraries and constant monitoring — but this is as good as it gets for now. 

In preparation, Japan has announced a new set of border control measures that split countries into three categories: Red, Yellow and Blue. 

From 1 June 2022, Singapore and 97 other countries will be added to Japan’s Blue List, which exempts travellers from on-arrival testing & quarantine regardless of vaccination status. 

Pre-departure testing will still be required, and all leisure travellers must travel as part of approved tour groups. 

Pre-departure testing

All travellers to Japan are required to present a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure, which can be any of the following:

  • RT-PCR
  • LAMP
  • TMA
  • TRC
  • Smart Amp
  • NEAR
  • Next Generation Sequence
  • Quantitative Antigen Test (CLEIA/ECLIA)

It should be noted that a Quantitative Antigen Test is not the same as the ARTs we know and use at home. For all intents and purposes, travellers to Japan from Singapore will need to get a PCR test (both nasal and saliva testing are accepted).

Children under the age of 6 are exempt from the testing requirement, provided they are accompanied by caregivers with negative test results. 

On-arrival testing & quarantine

On arrival in Japan, the relevant testing and quarantine measures depend on your 14-day travel history and vaccination status. 

If your 14-day travel history cuts across various categories, the restrictions of the strictest one will apply. 

Red List

🔴 Entry Measures for Red List
VaccinatedOn-Arrival TestQuarantine & Post Arrival Test
NoPCR3-day hotel quarantine + PCR
YesPCR3-day home quarantine + PCR or 7-day home quarantine with no test
Countries: Albania, Fiji, Pakistan, Sierra Leone

Red List travellers are subject to on-arrival PCR testing, regardless of vaccination status. 

Unvaccinated travellers must do a mandatory 3-day hotel quarantine, and produce a negative PCR test result at the end of this period. 

Vaccinated travellers have the option of doing a 3-day home quarantine and producing a negative PCR test result at the end of this period, or a 7-day home quarantine with no exit testing required. 

Yellow List

🟡 Entry Measures for Yellow List
VaccinatedOn-Arrival TestQuarantine & Post Arrival Test
NoPCR3-day home quarantine + PCR or 7-day home quarantine with no test
YesN/AN/A
Countries: Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cook Island, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macau, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, North Korea, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Congo, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Vanuatu, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Solomon, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Yellow List travellers who are not vaccinated are subject to an on-arrival PCR test, as well as a choice of 3-day home quarantine + exit PCR test, or 7-day home quarantine with no exit test.

Yellow List travellers who are fully vaccinated do not require either on-arrival testing or quarantine.

Blue List

🔵 Entry Measures for Blue List
VaccinatedOn-Arrival TestQuarantine & Post Arrival Test
NoN/AN/A
YesN/AN/A
Countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentine, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia

Blue List travellers do not require any on-arrival testing or quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.

This is the category that Singapore falls into, as well as Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and USA. 

How does Japan define “fully vaccinated”?

This doesn’t matter so much for Blue List travellers, since border measures are the same regardless of whether you’re fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.

But just for the record, Japan recognises the following COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • Comirnaty/Pfizer
  • Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna/Moderna
  • Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine/Janssen
  • COVAXIN/Bharat Biotech
  • Nuvaxovid/Novavax

Mixing of different vaccine types is accepted. If you have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine, you must have taken a booster shot (i.e. three doses). 

Sinovac, Sinopharm, or other vaccines not listed above are not recognised. 

Children under the age of 18 will be treated as fully vaccinated regardless of actual vaccination status, provided they are accompanied by guardians who meet the definition of fully vaccinated.

Other requirements

Travellers to Japan will be required to install the MySOS mobile app. Registering before arrival is not mandatory, but will save time on arrival. Registration involves: 

  • Completing a questionnaire
  • Completing a Pledge
  • Submitting vaccination certificate
  • Submitting pre-departure test results

Upon completion, a green screen and QR code will be generated. 

This can be shown to authorities on arrival to expedite processing. 

Conclusion

Japan will add Singapore to its Blue List from 1 June ahead of reopening to foreign tour groups on 10 June. It’s far from the reopening we hoped for, and initial reports describe a level of nannying that will deter all but the most hardcore of Japanophiles.

That said, it’s the first step in what will hopefully be a broader reopening in the coming months, and I personally hope to go as soon as unsupervised travel is permitted. 

Are you planning to join a Japan tour group?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Jim

Headed to Japan in about a week but I have a special entry visa for spouse of Japanese nation. But very happy they got rid on PCR test on arrival. Definitely wouldn’t be going otherwise.

Falco

That’s great – will be first time back without some form of quarantine.

Last edited 6 months ago by Falco
James Quek

Intend to travel to Tokyo in Feb 23, hopefully all restrictions to be lifted by then.

anon

lol. I dont need tours to japan.. been there 9 times.

wayne

going to jp on a tour group is like being asked to have chilli crab without the chilli

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