(CNN) – Japan, one of the world’s last major holdouts during the pandemic, is breaching its COVID-19 restrictions and opening the door to mass tourism.
Beloved for its unique blend of vibrant urban culture and natural beauty, the country is lifting its stringent rules on foreign tourists, according to a tweet by Japan’s Minister of Digital Affairs Taro Kono.
“Eventually, Japan will reopen the border,” the tweet said. “Visa waivers are back, there is no daily limit and personal visits are free.”
The new policies are starting from October 11.
“We will lift the limit on the number of people entering Japan, lift restrictions on personal travel, and lift restrictions on visa-free travel,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference in New York City on Thursday. United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Elaborating on the lifting of the restrictions, Kishida said that “on the same day, we plan to launch a campaign to offer domestic travel discounts and event discounts to residents of Japan and hope that many Citizens will take advantage of the offer to support hotels, travel and entertainment sectors that have suffered huge losses during the pandemic.”
The move marks a major policy shift after nearly 2 1/2 years of strict COVID-19 restrictions on who can enter the country and under what circumstances.
Those restrictions include caps on the daily number of allowed arrivals, stringent testing rules for the coronavirus and requirements to join travel groups.