Hi, or should I say Konnichiwa!?!
It's finally happening, countries across the Pacific pond, are starting to drop restrictions and reopen to full international travel. The big hold out remains China. However today I'm happy to share some enticing travel news about other newly announced reopenings.
This biggest of this has to be the official announcement from Japan, that as of Oct 11th, 2022. Japan will reopen to all international visa free travel arrivals without internal restrictions or internal pandemic policies. Japan has been closed to the world for 2.5 years. Japan will allow visa-free, independent tourism and abolish its daily arrival cap as of Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, marking a major policy shift after nearly 2½ years of strict COVID-19 restrictions. Japan has been allowing tourists since June, starting with people on guided tours. On Sept. 7, the government allowed those on nonguided tours who had booked their flights and hotels through registered travel agencies.
But those measures have been unpopular with many foreign tourists who want greater freedom during their trips. Tourists will need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, Kyodo News reported, citing government sources. both JAL & All Nippon Airlines welcomed the news of the nations reopening of the tourism sector, and both said they will start increasing international flight service to Japan from their international gateways immediately in October.
Taiwan’s government announced this week that the country will drop its quarantine requirement for all incoming travellers by “around” 13th October 2022, approximate three weeks from now. The exact date has yet to be determined, but will be announced very soon, While Taiwan was open to Taiwanese Foreign Nationals to return to the island, and under strict quarantine requirements, this news will bring about quarantine-free travel for all international visitors which has not been possible to Taiwan for around two-and-a-half years, due to border restrictions in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently travelers to Hong Kong now no longer need to undergo the government hotel quarantine or take a PCR test before departure to the island nation, the city’s leader John Lee announced last week. Instead, arrivals will only be restricted from going to bars or eating at restaurants for the first three days, while they will need to test daily for seven days. If they test positive, they will need to isolate for at least seven days. Still not truly tourism friendly policies in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong is getting killed when it comes to business relations, as it is a finanical center of Asia, yet has actually lost the title to Singapore during the pandemic, and it will require fully reopening for business travelers before it can try regaining the title.
South Korea has dropped all quarantine, vaccination and pre arrival testing requirements for entry. The only requirement that remains is that you must take a PCR test on arrival at the airport, which can be pre scheduled online before leaving the US. Once you take the test you can continue on to your hotel in Seoul or anywhere else in the country. Should the results of your test come back positive, you'll have to take general health safety steps that are outlined by the government. Otherwise you are free to move about the country.
Thailand followed along with the trend this week, and announced that it was dropping all pandemic and quarantine policies effective the end of this month (Sept), and would be fully open to all international arrivals for next month and beyond. Thailand was open to tourism but they had so many confusing resort and destination Phuket quarantine and testing policies it wasn't really going to bring back international tourism from the US shores, as there was just to much risk of getting stuck there for weeks if testing positive. No worries anymore Thailand reopens completely effective October 1st!
Derek Schemonitz: Owner/CEO & President of: