Coronavirus Update – 22 April 2020

2019-nCoV-CDC-23312_without_backgroundI hope that you and your family and friends continue to stay healthy and safe as the world continues to face this global pandemic. There are some more updates to Japan’s travel restrictions, which I will try to summarize as best as I can.

Bear in mind, these probably don’t factor in to a lot of near-term travel plans anyway, given that a good number of passenger flights between Japan and the rest of the world are not operating right now. All Nippon Airways (ANA), for example, has just reduced their New York-Tokyo flights from two round-trips per day to one round-trip per week until the end of May… this probably is a result of plans by the Japanese government to extend Japan’s entry ban.

All of the latest updates can be found on the website of the Japan National Tourism Organization. They have a dedicated web page with regard to the travel restrictions.

  1. Foreign nationals who have been in one of over 70 countries or regions in the last 14 days are denied entry into Japan, except in extraordinary circumstances. Some of the affected locations include Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and most of Europe. The JNTO link has the complete list. Kyodo News recently reported that additional countries and regions will be added to the list this week, and that entry restrictions will be extended until the end of May.
  2. Visa arrangements from certain countries and regions (including visa exemptions, i.e. for tourism) are suspended. The JNTO link has the complete list. Previously, countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States were on the visa suspension list. Although this is no longer the case, these countries are still among the locations in the entry ban.
  3. All international passengers arriving in (and allowed to enter) Japan will be requested to quarantine and avoid using public transportation for 14 days.
  4. All passengers arriving from a location included in the entry ban are subject to on-the-spot coronavirus testing. You will be kept at a government-designated facility while awaiting the coronavirus test results. It’s also possible that due to capacity reasons, you could be flown to another city to undergo testing. (For example, a recent update from All Nippon Airways (ANA) indicates that those arriving into Narita Airport in Tokyo could be flown to Chubu Centrair Airport in Nagoya for coronavirus testing, then be flown back to Narita if the tests are all clear.) If you test negative, you’ll still be requested to quarantine and avoid using public transportation for 14 days.

It remains obvious… do not travel to Japan unless you have an essential reason to do so. While some countries seem to be getting a grip on the coronavirus situation, the number of cases in Japan is starting to increase. Let’s all continue to do our part so that one day, we can all travel again to the places that we love.

The coronavirus illustration is public domain pursuant to Title 17, Section 105 of the United States Code.

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