Relaxation of border controls brings bustle back to Haneda

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers are seen in the international departure lobby of Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Travelers filled the international departure lobby of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport Wednesday following the easing of coronavirus-related border control measures.

Under the eased measures, the cap on international arrivals has been raised from 20,000 to 50,000, and travelers who have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine no longer need to present a negative test result upon arrival. Foreign tourists are also allowed to enter the country on package tours without a guide.

“Because the requirement for a negative test result has been scrapped, I no longer have to worry about not being able to return home,” said Kaho Nagashima, 27, who was traveling to Thailand.

According to Japan Airlines Co., reservations for overseas flights in September increased 80% after the Aug. 31 announcement on the relaxation of border control measures, and reservations for October flights jumped 560%.

“The number of foreign visitors will increase even more once the ban on solo travelers is lifted and visa requirements are eased,” a Japan Airlines representative said.