Japanese visitors are no longer welcome in the European Union after member states reinstated a ban on nonessential travel from the country.
The ban comes after a surge in local Covid-19 cases, resulting in a state of emergency being declared across 11 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka.
With Japan removed from the list of low-risk countries, eligible points of departure have dropped to six locations, namely Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau are pending for addition, subject to confirmation of reciprocity, according to the EU.
The travel ban will likely result in further flight cancellations between the world’s third largest economy and EU member countries, reported Nikkei Asia.
All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest carrier, announced this week it would suspend 16 international routes during summer 2021, including services to Dusseldorf and planned launches to Milan and Stockholm.
Additionally, the country paused reciprocal business travel agreements with neighbouring countries, citing concerns over the new Covid-19 variant.
In December, Japan considered relaxing border restrictions for foreign tourists from lower-risk countries ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. It is unclear whether or not the plan will still go ahead.