Photo/Illutration Arriving passengers wait for novel coronavirus antigen tests in a quarantine area at Narita Airport in November. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Japan will further ease restrictions on people entering the country from June 1, including waiving COVID-19 tests and self-quarantine periods for passengers arriving from low-risk areas, the government announced on May 20.

The government will examine the infection situations in countries and regions and categorize them into three groups: red, yellow and blue.

Passengers from the red group, the riskiest category in terms of infections, will be required to take the virus tests upon arrival and isolate for three days at designated quarantine facilities.

If they have received three vaccine shots, they can self-quarantine at home but still must take the tests upon arrival.

Those in the middle-risk yellow group will also be required to take virus tests and self-quarantine at home for three days. But if they have received booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, both requirements will be waived.

Those in the low-risk blue group will be exempted from the tests and quarantine rules, even if they have not received their booster shots.

The government will announce the countries and regions for each group next week.

It will also raise the daily upper limit of new arrivals from 10,000 to 20,000 on June 1.

Japan, in principle, banned new entries of foreign nationals in November 2021. But it has since been easing the border restrictions based on the infection situation in the country.

The government will also allow a small number of foreign tourists into Japan on an experimental basis this month. Foreign tourists have been denied entry to the country since early 2020.