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Coronavirus

Japan waives COVID entry tests in step toward welcoming tourists

Exemptions granted to 80% of travelers as daily cap lifted to 20,000 arrivals

The international arrivals lobby at Narita Airport near Tokyo. In the year before the pandemic, Japan welcomed about 32 million foreign visitors. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- Japan is moving away from its strict travel restrictions that have made it an outlier in the world by allowing about 80% of inbound travelers to skip COVID tests and quarantine upon arrival.

Starting June 1, the cap on daily international arrivals will also be raised to 20,000 people from 10,000 people. The eased entry rules mark a policy shift as Japan explores ways to resume inbound tourism while keeping the coronavirus at bay in a protracted pandemic.

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