As reported by The Associated Press, the country will strive to lift a ban on international cruise ships that has been in place for more than 2 and a half years because of drift hunters the breakout of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess ship at the beginning of the epidemic. While it was unclear when exactly the restriction would be lifted, a Japanese ship leaving from Yokohama in December will be among the first after it is lifted.
Minister of Transport and Tourism Tetsuo Saito told The Associated Press that "Japan is now ready to resume hosting international cruise ships again." We will make it such that visitors to Japan on a cruise don't have to worry about their safety for a moment.
The Associated Press stated that when cruises start in Japan, the staff and most passengers will be required to have at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. Also, the government will have regulations in place for properly ventilating, spacing out, and disinfecting public spaces.
Several deaths among ship's passengers and crew during a two-week quarantine on the Diamond Princess prompted the initial ban. Approximately 700 persons contracted the disease.
After the country was open to independent travelers again in October, the ban on cruises was lifted. The Japan National Tourism Organization requires all visitors to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of their departure flight, or proof of a full vaccination with a booster injection.
The resumption of cruise ship service is not unique to Japan. Both Australia and New Zealand lifted their bans on cruise ships in April and August, respectively.
The 'No Sail' order issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October 2020 was removed, and the agency formally discontinued its pandemic-era program for cruise ships this past summer.