Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan: Travel advisory

Japan Coronavirus outbreak

With millions of tourists due to visit Japan, this page can help travelers to stay up to date with news about travel restrictions to Japan regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Below you’ll find information regarding whether it is currently safe to travel to Japan, essential safety measures, and the Japanese response to coronavirus.

State of Emergency in Japan Extended

Restrictions are now in place across most of Japan. Until at least September 30, 2021, a state of emergency will be active in the following prefectures:

  • Aichi
  • Chiba
  • Fukuoka
  • Gifu
  • Gunma
  • Hiroshima
  • Hokkaido
  • Hyogo
  • Ibaraki
  • Kanagawa
  • Kyoto
  • Mie
  • Okinawa
  • Osaka
  • Saitama
  • Shiga
  • Shizuoka
  • Tochigi
  • Tokyo Metropolis

In addition, 8 prefectures are subject to quasi-emergency measures. Until September 30, 2021, a partial state of emergency is in place in the following locations:

  • Fukushima
  • Ishikawa
  • Kagawa
  • Kagoshima
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyagi
  • Miyazaki
  • Okayama

Measures are similar to those under a full state of emergency, but less strict. Restaurants and bars have to close before 8 pm and stop serving alcoholic drinks. In areas where case numbers fall, alcohol may be served until 7 pm.

When will japan lift travel ban? Travel restrictions

Japan continues to uphold a travel ban for most arriving passengers in order to contain the spread of the mutated strain of COVID-19.

Nevertheless, Japanese nationals and foreign residents in Japan may enter provided they present a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before departure. International arrivals are subject to another test when they land and must self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Transit through Japan is only currently permitted at Narita Airport on the same calendar day.

At the moment, the answer to the question ‘can I travel to Japan?’ for foreign tourists is, unfortunately, no, as Japanese borders still remain closed for tourism visits.

The reopening of Japanese borders for tourism is expected to be gradual, with first priority given to travelers from countries that have successfully controlled the spread of COVID-19.

Countries and regions banned to enter Japan

The Japanese government has announced that, for the time being, travelers who have visited the following countries within 14 days of arriving in Japan will not be able to enter the country:

Africa:

  • Algeria
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Comoros
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Republic of Congo
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • The Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The Americas:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Santa Lucia
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Asia:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Malaysia
  • The Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • The Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Uzbekistan

Europe:

  • All 26 member countries in the Schengen Area
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Georgia
  • Ireland
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Middle East:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates

Visa suspensions

The government has announced that all visas that were issued early in 2020 by Japanese Embassies or Consulates in certain countries have been suspended for the time being.

This measure extends to the following countries:

Africa

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Republic of Congo
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • The Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Asia

  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • The Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • The Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

Europe

  • All of the 26 Schengen countries
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentine
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Christopher and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Middle East

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

Oceania

  • Cook islands
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Japan has also temporarily announced the suspension of the visa exemption program for all foreign citizen.

Who Can Travel to Japan Now?

Non-Japanese nationals can only enter the country in exceptional circumstances at this time.

There are some exemptions to Japan’s travel ban if you’re traveling to study, work, or join family. If you are able to enter Japan at this time, you’ll still need to get tested before departure and follow quarantine rules.

Be aware that entry rules are subject to change at short notice. If you believe you may be exempt from the entry ban, you should check with the nearest embassy and get all the latest information, before making any travel plans.

Vaccine Passports Issued in Japan

Some Japanese municipal governments are now issuing vaccine passports to allow Japanese citizens and residents to travel internationally.

The Japanese vaccine certificates can be used to travel to some countries with reduced restrictions. Nevertheless, the passport does not ease testing and quarantine requirements on return to Japan.

There are hopes that testing and quarantine requirements could be eased for incoming travelers with a vaccine certificate in the near future.

Public transportation restrictions within Japan

Travelers are advised to refer to Japanese train status updates issued by each individual operator to check if a service they plan to use remains affected by temporary Shinkansen COVID-19 restrictions:

It should be noted that physical distancing requirements and obligatory use of face-masks remain in place on most public transportation services in Japan.

Travel advisories

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised against non essential travel to Japan at this time, because of widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19.

Check the up-to-date travel advisories for Japan regarding COVID-19 from your country below:

Safety measures

Japan’s Health Ministry has stated that the two most effective ways to curb the spread of coronavirus are to frequently wash hands and use a face mask when out in public:

  • You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Make sure to wash between fingers, and under nails.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The mask should cover your mouth, nose and chin, and be disposed of after a single use.

The US CDC has also advised any travelers to Japan to follow some other basic safety measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with anyone displaying suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home and seek medical care by calling in advance.
  • Monitor your health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning to your country of residence.

The CDC defines Social distancing as avoiding group gatherings and crowded places and maintaining approximately 2 meters of distance from others when possible.

For the latest travel advisory and information about restrictions, please visit the Japan National Tourism Organization’s site.

Temporary closure of attractions in Japan

Most attractions in the prefectures affected by the state of emergency in Japan have now reopened, including museums, art galleries, and theme parks in Tokyo and Osaka. Nevertheless, reduced capacity limits and shorter opening hours are expected to continue for some time.

Many attractions across the rest of the country are open for business. However, social distancing measures such as obligatory facemask use may still be enforced for visitors.

Hotline for tourist information

The Japan National Tourism Organization has also set up a coronavirus hotline for tourist information available in 3 languages: English, Chinese, or Korean:

From within Japan:
050 3816 2787

If overseas:
+81 50 3816 2787

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