Good news folks, Japan is about to open its borders to Australians! Well, kind of. Mostly. It’s complicated.
The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that Japan is considering gradually lifting their current overseas travel alerts for some countries.
As it stands now, 159 countries are considered “level 3” by the Japanese government. Level 3 sounds nice, but it is the diplomatic equivalent of “Ew, David”. Their travel advice warnings on infectious disease go to four, which they currently aren’t applying to any country.
While the very infected USA, India and Brazil are most definitely going to stay at level 3 “recommendation to defer all travel”, Japan is considering putting some countries down to level 2. Level 2 is merely “recommendation to consider whether or not to travel”.
To qualify for that level, there has to be a relatively low infection rate proportionate to the population. Given those stipulations, the lucky countries are likely to include Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brunei and Belgium.
That doesn’t mean it’ll be a free for all to travel. That’s only the advisory for Japanese citizens to travel, and they’re still being discouraged from going on holidays willy nilly. On return (and presumably visitors coming into the country) travellers will have to quarantine for two weeks there.
From October 1, Japan is opening itself up to travellers who plan to stay (and have permission to) for more than three months.
Of course, there are still a few more hurdles to jump over. The Australian Government has still banned citizens from leaving the country except on compassionate grounds, there are no flights, and Japan seems pretty far outside the 5km radius Melbournians are stuck in.
But this is a sign that things are starting to get back to normal, and soon we can start planning that trip to Japan we’ve always dreamed of.
Where do you want to travel first when the borders open?