(CNN) — Japan, one of the world’s last major holdouts during the pandemic, is lifting its Covid-19 restrictions and reopening the door to mass tourism.
Beloved for its unique blend of vibrant urban culture and natural beauty, the country is lifting its strict regulations on foreign tourists, according to a tweet Thursday from Taro Kono, Japan’s Minister of Digital Affairs.
“Finally, Japan will reopen the border,” the tweet read. “Visa waiver is back, no daily limit and free individual visits.”
The new policies come into effect on October 11.
“We are going to lift the cap on the number of in-bounds to Japan, lift the ban on individual travel and lift the ban on visa-free travel,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a press conference in New York on Thursday. , which he attended. the meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Elaborating on the lifting of the restrictions, Kishida said that “on the same day, we plan to launch a campaign to provide domestic travel discounts and event discounts to residents of Japan and hope that many citizens will take advantage of the offering to support the hotel, travel and entertainment sectors which have taken a huge hit during the pandemic.”
The move marks a major policy shift after nearly 2½ years of strict Covid-19 restrictions on who could enter the country and under what circumstances.
Those restrictions have included caps on the daily number of arrivals allowed, strict coronavirus testing rules and requirements for joining tourist groups to visit.