Japan has lifted its nationwide State of Emergency this week. The country has been under a unique kind of lockdown for seven weeks with the government encouraging its citizens to stay home and limit social interactions with others.
As new cases of COVID-19 in Japan continue to decline, Tokyo and Hokkaido were amongst the last prefectures to see the restrictions lift. Following the lifting of the State of Emergency, the country moves to reopen of schools, gyms, libraries, galleries and restaurants. Moreover, Shinkansen services run by JR will continue to operate to the scheduled timetables and the professional baseball season will restart in June, without spectators.
The second phase is the recommencement of domestic tourism. The Go To Travel campaign run by the Japanese government and Japan Tourism Authority (JTA) is a non-JNTO campaign proposal focused on revitalising the domestic tourism market. The campaign aims to fund a portion of the travel expenses of domestic travellers.
With new cases currently on the decline, Japan will be balancing safety and hygiene with getting people within Japan back to enjoying what their beautiful country has to offer. At this stage, this means that the Go To Travel campaign would be aimed at the domestic travel market only, and would not apply to international travel into Japan.
Tokyo’s Mayor, Yuriko Koike, urged the public to remain vigilant in terms of sanitation and social distancing measures to avoid another wave of cases. Adding, that the population should prepare for the ‘final stretch’ before being able to “reclaim the lives we had before”.