Japan chose to isolate the crew and passengers while keeping them on board as a way of border control, but was also criticized for turning the ship into a virus incubator.
Cruise ship operators are expected to discuss with local authorities further details about their port entry plans. Japan’s resumption of international cruise liners comes more than a year after they returned to the United States and Europe.
Under the new guidelines, all crew members must have three received three coronavirus vaccine shots while most passengers must be vaccinated at least twice. The guideline also calls for thorough ventilation, distancing and disinfecting of common areas.
Japan, after much delay compared to many other countries, reopened its borders to individual foreign tourists in October and a resumption of international cruise ship operations will further help revive the country’s tourism that has been badly hit by the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, more than 2.15 million cruise ship passengers visited Japan in 2019, according to the Transport and Tourism Ministry.