Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan: Travel advisory

Japan Coronavirus outbreak

With millions of tourists due to visit Japan in 2020, 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.

Japan to ease entry restrictions for business travel and students

Japan has announced that it will be easing coronavirus entry restrictions for all foreign citizens from mid-October.

The easing of COVID-19 entry restrictions will first apply to business travelers, as well as those traveling to Japan with permits for medical, cultural, and sports-related activities for 3 months or longer.

In addition to business visitors and those with long-term permits for Japan, entry will also be permitted to students with a grant from the Japanese government.
However, it should be noted that entry will only be permitted to those who test negative for COVID-19 at the port of entry, and arrivals will still be expected to undergo 2 weeks of self-isolation and avoid using public transport in Japan during this period.

Entry to these permitted citizens is initially expected to be limited to 1.000 passengers per day. However, the Japanese government is also expected to begin easing tourist entry restrictions in the spring.

The relaxation of the restriction methods is expected to have been motivated by the reopening of Japanese universities for the fall semester, as well as the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which have been delayed until 2021.

Can I travel to Japan? Travel restrictions

Although business travelers and students worldwide are now able to visit Japan, all travel is still prohibited for passengers from over 159 countries and regions.

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.

Nevertheless, Japan is expected to ease COVID-19 tourist restrictions for most foreign citizens by Spring 2021, in anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics.

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
  • 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
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Zambia
  • Zimbawe

The Americas:

  • Argentina
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Bahamas
  • 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 Christopher and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Asia:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • China (including Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR)
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

Europe:

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

Oceania:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Middle East:

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

This temporary entry ban also applies to all foreign nationals who hold a Chinese passport issued by either the Hubei or Zhejiang province.

Visa suspensions

The government has announced that all visas that were issued earlier in the year 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
  • 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
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Asia

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

Europe

  • All of the 26 Schengen countries
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyz
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

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 announced the suspension of the visa exemption program for allforeign citizens until further notice.

Japan travel bubble

Travel bubbles, also known as travel bridges or corona corridors, are being formed in countries around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to allow movement and economic activity to continue between neighbouring regions.

These are essentially travel agreements between countries that have achieved similar levels of success in combating the spread of coronavirus and consider each other ‘low-risk’.

Residents of countries that agree to form a travel bubble are permitted to cross the border of their destination without having to go through many of the quarantine requirements upon arrival.

Long-term residents and business travelers from the following countries are now able to enter the country under the Japan travel bubble:

  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Brunei
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

Additional countries and territories are expected to be added to the list in the coming weeks, potentially including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the US state of Hawaii.

Public transportation restrictions within Japan

At the moment, public transport within Japan’s cities remains largely unaffected by coronavirus restrictions.

Many long-distance bus services and Shinkansen bullet train services resumed operations on June 1st, and Joyful trains for tourism resumed in late July.

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.

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 is 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 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

Many tourist attractions across Japan, including many theme parks, markets, and museums were closed as a preventative measure against coronavirus throughout March, April, and May, to ensure the health of both visitors and employees.

The climbing season for Mount Fuji, which was due to begin on July 10th, was also canceled for 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19

With the exception of those in Okinawa prefecture, most attractions across the country have now reopened for business, although social distancing measures, obligatory facemask use, and reduced capacity 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

Related Posts

Related Tours & Activities

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *