After months of speculation, Japan will finally lift its remaining restrictions on tourism from 11 October 2022, as announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a visit to New York.
The daily arrival cap will be removed, mandatory tourist visas will be scrapped, and independent travel will be permitted once more. No pre-departure or on-arrival testing is required for fully-vaccinated travellers, and it’s basically back to pre-COVID days.
Japan lifts remaining tourism restrictions
From 11 October 2022, Japan will scrap its daily arrival cap of 50,000 people, and reinstate its visa-waiver programme for nationals from the following 68 countries and regions.
|🇯🇵 Visa-Free Entry to Japan|
(All entry valid for 90 days unless otherwise stated)
|Latin American & Caribbean|
|Additional terms may apply for certain countries. Refer to MOFA Japan for official details.|
Japan previously required tourists to purchase a pre-arranged package from a tour agency. This requirement will be removed from 11 October, and free-and-easy travel will be permitted once more. That’s great news for miles and points collectors, who can redeem award flights (assuming you can find space) and hotel nights.
Japan has already scrapped the requirement for a pre-departure COVID-19 test for all fully vaccinated travellers. As a reminder, Japan defines “fully vaccinated” as individuals who have received at least three doses of the following vaccines:
- Janssen (only two doses required)
Any combination of the above is acceptable as well.
From 11 October, CanSino, Sinovac and Sinopharm will be added to the list of recognised vaccinations.
Unvaccinated travellers are required to produce a negative pre-departure PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of travel. The cost of a test in Singapore starts from S$50.
Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 who travel with vaccinated parents/guardians will be treated as fully vaccinated (refer to the bottom of page 17 for the source)
On-arrival testing depends on an individual’s travel history. Singapore is currently classified as a Blue List country, which does not require on-arrival testing or quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.
Visitors from Yellow or Red List countries may be required to take on-arrival tests or quarantine, depending on their vaccination status. However, since the Red List is currently empty, a fully-vaccinated traveller is basically free from all pre-departure and on-arrival testing.
|3 days (home)|
|3 days (home)|
|3 days (facility)|
|*PDT= Pre-departure test, OAT= On-arrival test|
^Negative PCR test required to end quarantine
If your 14-day travel history cuts across various categories, the restrictions of the strictest one will apply. You can view the full list of countries by category here.
It may surprise you to know that Japan does not actually have a mask mandate. The official stance is that masks are not required outdoors or indoors, assuming you can keep a minimum distance of 2-metres from others. However, the vast majority of locals continue to mask, and it’s safe to say the same will be expected of visitors.
Likewise, there’s no requirement to wear masks on flights to or from Japan, although ANA and Japan Airlines continue to enforce the rule. Singapore Airlines passengers will not be required to mask, as per the airline’s latest global mask policy.
What’s the award space situation?
October calls for 55 weekly flights between Singapore and Tokyo, operated by Singapore Airlines, Scoot, ANA and Japan Airlines.
Singapore Airlines operates the A350-900, B777-300ER and B787-10 on this route, which means redemptions across all four cabins are possible.
|Redemption Cost from Singapore to Japan|
(Flight on Singapore Air)
However, bad news if you’re hoping to redeem KrisFlyer miles to Japan. Award space in Business and First Class has virtually vanished for the rest of 2022. At most, you’ll be able to find Economy Class awards, and even those are likely to disappear soon with the latest news.
Not all is lost though. If you have Alaska Mileage Plan miles, Asia Miles, British Airways Avios or any other programme that can book Japan Airlines award space, here’s how you find award flights to Tokyo.
Japan will finally lift its remaining tourism restrictions from 11 October 2022, which means no more visa applications or tour groups. With pre-departure and on-arrival testing already not necessary for fully-vaccinated Singaporeans and nationals of most countries, visiting Japan effectively returns to pre-COVID conditions.
Who’s heading to Japan?