The spread of COVID-19, which originated in the Hubei province of China, has prompted governments around the world to implement new travel restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and the government of Japan is no different.
Since the virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan in Hubei and cases have appeared in countries around the world, the Japnese government has implemented a series of preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus.
These have included compulsory quarantines for certain visitors, restrictions on the use of public transport, and amending the Japanese immigration policy to include a temporary entry ban on travelers arriving from specific territories.
Check the information below to see if any of the Japanese travel restrictions apply to you.
What Travel Restrictions Currently Apply to Japan?
As the coronavirus pandemic became more serious, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed new steps to strengthen Japanese quarantine measures and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Travel restrictions for certain affected areas in China, including the Hubei province and South Korea had already been in place since the earliest cases were reported. However, Japan has continued to expanded the measures to the entirety of both countries to reflect the ongoing spread of the virus.
This means that all passengers arriving in Japan from certain countries are now required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government facility upon arrival. They are also not permitted to use any public transport in Japan.
This requirement applies to all visitors from the following countries:
- All 26 European countries in the Schengen Area
- China, including Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
These quarantine restrictions will apply whether traveling to Japan by air, or by boat or ferry. However, entry of citizens from China and Republic of Korea by sea has temporarily been suspended.
Additionally, the government has announced it has temporarily suspended the issuance of all Japanese visas for Chinese citizens, as well as all the other quarantine-required counties listed above. Visas that had already been granted to these travelers have been revoked.
Additionally, the Prime Minister has decreed that flights from China and South Korea should only be permitted to arrive at 2 major Japanese airports where effective quarantine procedures are already in place; Narita Airport near Tokyo, and Kansai airport in Osaka Prefecture.
Which Travelers Are Affected by the Entry Ban for Japan?
In addition to the restrictions recently implemented, Japan has also announced a complete entry ban to the country for travelers arriving from certain regions significantly affected by the coronavirus.
The temporary travel ban for Japan applies to all foreign citizens who are traveling on a People’s Republic of China passport that lists Hubei or Zhejiang province as the place of issue.
The temporary Japanese travel ban also applies to passport holders who have visited any of the following regions within the past 14 days:
- China – Hubei or Zhejiang Province
- Iran – Qom, Tehran, Gilan, Mazandaran, Isfahan, Alborz, Markazi, Qazvin, Semnan, Golestan, or Lorestan Province
- Italy – Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulian, and Ligurian provinces
- South Korea – Daegu-guangyeok-si, Gyeongsan-si, Andong-si, Yeongcheon-si, Cheondo-gun, Chilgok-gun, Uiseong-gun, Seongju-gun, Gunwi-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do
- The Republic of San Marino.
- Switzerland – Canton of Ticino and Basel-Stadt regions
- Spain – Navarre, Basque Country, Community of Madrid, and La Rioja Province
Other Current Restrictions for Japan
Prime Minister Abe has also imposed some internal restrictions to further stop the spread of COVID-19 in Japan.
These include the temporary closure of all schools in Japan at least until the end of the spring break in April, as well as the temporary closure of a number of museums and attractions.
Although some attractions in Japan may remain open, visitors are required to wear facemasks to enter the facilities.
Organizers have also been asked to cancel any large sport and entertainment events to decrease the increased transmission risk that can arise among crowds.
The ongoing pandemic will also affect the dates on which the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will take place. In a joint statement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Games Committee announced the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021.
Postponing the Games may further impact the Japanese tourist economy, a sector which has already be affected by the travel restrictions placed on South Korean and Chinese citizens: around 40% of all visitors in 2019 came from Japan’s Asian neighbors.
Therefore, Japan is expected to lift the restrictions against issuing visas for Chinese passport holders and the suspension of the visa waiver program for South Koreans as soon as it is deemed safe and the risk of spread of coronavirus has subsided.
Check this page for further updates for Japan regarding travel restrictions as they develop.
Last update: April, 6th 2020