Japan has been closed for most non-resident/citizen arrivals, excluding the Olympic attendees, since March 2020.
Over the past 12 months, the country has slightly eased the entry requirement first by allowing non-Japanese residents to return and now reducing the mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated from 14 to 10 days in early October.
Even those allowed to travel to Japan must have first spent three nights at government-selected quarantine hotels if they have arrived from select countries. Then, after testing negative on day 3, they could have spent the rest of the quarantine at their place of residence.
Now, fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine even when arriving from countries deemed high risk if they have been vaccinated and the quarantine is shortened by four days. This only applies to those who have a vaccine passport and have been inoculated with one of the three approved vaccines authorized by Japan: Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
Here’s an excerpt from the Japan Times:
Japan is making final preparations to shorten the period of quarantine for people fully inoculated against COVID-19 from 14 to 10 days and allow them to immediately self-isolate at home, even when returning from higher-risk locations, the health ministry said Friday.
The change will most likely take effect from October, according to reports citing government sources.
But even under the eased quarantine protocol, inoculated people will reportedly be required to undergo tests for COVID-19 on the 10th day of quarantine. Only those who test negative will be exempted from the full 14-day self-isolation period.
Currently, all people entering Japan, regardless of whether they have received their COVID-19 shots or not, are subject to the same quarantine policy, which includes pre-entry tests for COVID-19, additional tests on arrival and the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
It doesn’t look like Japan would be open anytime soon for non-citizen/resident arrivals. Even those allowed to return have to spend 10 nights quarantining at their place of residence or government-mandated hotels.
Japan is taking baby steps with shortening the quarantine when most of the Western world, outside of Asia-Pacific, are opening up their borders for vaccinated visitors with a negative covid test.