Cooped up Australia’s could soon get the opportunity to go on holiday to Japan as the country looks to ease its travel restrictions.
Tokyo is in talks to reopen its borders to ten countries in November and Australia and New Zealand are at the top of the list, according to Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review.
With few holiday options for travellers and return flights from Australia on Skyscanner as low as $575, a trip to Japan could be just the ticket.
But the move is reliant on Australia keeping the number of coronavirus cases under control, and so far Scott Morrison’s government have showed no signs of lifting its international travel ban introduced in late March.
Currently, Australians must be granted a special government exemption to travel overseas, and vacationing isn’t on the list of permitted reasons to go abroad.
Japan has already given the all clear for visitors with work or study permits over three months to enter the country.
Although tourism is still banned, that could soon change.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently said ‘to revitalize the economy, it is indispensable to resume international travel’.
Japan will start gradually relaxing inbound travel restrictions over the next few weeks based on the degree of infections in each country.
Japan had issued 159 nations with a Level Three alert, urging Japanese nationals to avoid all travel.
But from November, countries with few active cases per population will have the alert dropped to Level Two.
Although Japanese nationals are urged to avoid non-essential travel under a Level Two alert, and are still required to undergo 14 days of quarantine upon returning – the government see it as a step in the right direction.
The hope is that other nation’s like Australia will reciprocate their travel advice, eventually creating a ‘travel bubble’ of COVID-safe nations.
‘We will start relaxing entry restrictions by looking at the situation of infections in each country and also considering the degree of need (for travel),’ economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a press conference.
Japan is eager to get international travel back underway ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games which were postponed due to the pandemic in July.
Last year about 515,000 Australians visited Japan to take in the Asian nation’s mega cities, sacred mountains, pristine coastline and vibrant culture.