Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

Last updated: November 2nd, 2020

Follow our latest updates on the coronavirus (Covid-19 disease) situation in Japan:

In summary

  • Coronavirus in Japan: Find out about travel restrictions, entry bans, temporary closurescancelled events and postponements like the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Japan's New Normal: Japan now embraces a 'new normal' with social distancing and rigorous hygiene measures now commonplace, as it attempts to stave off a second wave.
  • Planning an upcoming trip? We recommend checking your local authority's latest travel and health advisories, as well as the current flight status of your airline.
  • After-Covid: Find a variety of related articles about post-Covid travel in Japan.

Table of contents

  1. Travel updates
  2. Temporary closures
  3. Cancelled events
  4. Coronavirus: guidance, tips, what to do
  5. Travel advisories
  6. Official resources
     

While every effort has been made to keep the info listed here complete and accurate, we advise to always check the official website for any place to get the most up-to-date info

Travel Updates

PCR Test Center Opens at Narita Airport

On-the-spot testing facility opens at Narita Airport to provide travellers proof of negative coronavirus tests before embarking to travel overseas.  Read More

Border Restrictions Relaxed for Non-Tourist Visas

From October, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announces a wider scope for visa applications for those visiting Japan to work, study, visit relatives and more.  Read More

Re-Entry Restrictions for Foreign Residents To Be Lifted from Sept 1st

Foreign residents stuck overseas will finally be permitted to re-enter Japan under new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) infection test rules.  Read More

Re-Entry Permitted to Foreign Nationals Stuck Overseas

Policy change will allow Japan's foreign residents who may be stuck overseas, like Permanent Residence holder or spouses of Japanese nationals, to re-enter if they left Japan before travel restrictions were originally imposed in April.  Read More

Alert Raised for 17 New Countries/Regions

Travel advisory raised for Palestine and 16 countries, including Nepal, Kenya and Venezuela, over concerns with the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Read More

18 Countries Added to Entry Ban List

Japan expands its entry ban to visitors from 18 nations, including Cuba, as a continued step to help curtail the spread of coronavirus.  Read More

Japan's Contract Tracing App Launched

Free Microsoft-developed app is launched for Android and iOS. 'COCOA: COVID-19 Contact App' aims to alert users if they been in close proximity to someone infected with coronavirus.  Read More

Tokyo Lifts Coronavirus Alert

An alert warning about possible increases in coronavirus infections in Tokyo was lifted, in another step towards a full resumption of economic activity.  Read More

Travel alert raised for 18 new countries

The countries, mostly in Africa and Central America, may be added to a list totalling 111 countries and territories that would mean denied entry to Japan if visited within two weeks of arrival.  Read More

Re-Entry Rules Relaxed for Foreign Residents

Move reverses a re-entry ban and policy that favoured Japanese nationals repatriating but banned foreign residents from returning to their home in Japan for any reason, even humanitarian.  Read More

Back to Business for Japan's Bars & Restaurants

Drinking and dining establishments are back open and ready for business, operating in the 'new normal' era of additional safeguards for keeping customers safe.  Read More

Surprise Fireworks to Lift Moods

The displays, at secret locations across Japan, were designed to lift spirits amid the pandemic and help mark the warmer weather arriving across Japan.  Read More

Japan expected to lift emergency procedures on Monday

Lifting is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday 25th May, following a continuous fall in infection rates. Such a move would apply to Tokyo and it surrounding prefectures (Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa) as well as Hokkaido.  Read More

State of emergency lifted in Osaka and surrouding area

The state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus is lifted in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo. Now 42 out of 47 prefectures have seen their emergency measures ended.  Read More

State of emergency lifted in most of Japan

The state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus is lifted in 39 out of 47 prefectures, after a sharp fall in new infections.  Read More

Govt Considers Lifting Emergency in Less-Affected Prefectures

In consultation with a panel of experts, the government considers partially lifting restrictions in 34 prefectures.  Read More

Abe Extends State of Emergency to May 31st

Abe makes announcement to extend nationwide State of Emergency to help reduce rate of new coronavirus infections.  Read More

Japanese Govt Plans Contact-Tracing App for May

Smartphone app planned for early May will help warn users if they have been in contact with a diagnosed Covid-19 patient.  Read More

Nationwide State of Emergency Declared

Abe expands state of emergency to cover entire nation on Thursday to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.  Read More

Abe Announces State of Emergency

Government poised to declare state of emergency from Tuesday, covering Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, Chiba, Saitama, Hyogo and Fukuoka.  Read More

Entry Ban Widened to Include US

Government announces plan to expand list of countries affected as coronavirus pandemic expands.  Read More

Tokyo Governor Issues Stay at Home Request

To counter an increase in confirmed infections, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asks residents to work from home and refrain from going out in evenings and weekends.  Read More

Tokyo 2020: Officially Postponed until 2021

IOC announces decision to postpone the Olympic Games to no later than the summer of 2021, to safeguard the health of athletes, those involved in delivering the Games and the international community.  Read More

Visa exemption measures suspended for Schengen countries, rest of EU

Effective 21st March, 00:00 JST: Holders of a passport issued by affected countries (see MOFA site), intending to enter Japan without obtaining a visa, will not be permitted to land.  Read More

Japan asks Europe visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days,extends entry ban

Effective 21st March, 00:00 JST: Government plans to impose new restrictions on visitors from about 30 European countries, including Britain, France and Germany. Entry bans extend to cover Iceland and parts of Spain, Italy and Switzerland.  Read More

Japan mulls entry ban for Italy visitors

Government sources suggest a plan to impose new restrictions on visitors from parts of northern Italy in response to the coronavirus situation there. Read More

Japan to Quarantine all China and S. Korea Visitors

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces new safeguard to quarantine all visitors for 2 weeks from coronavirus-hit China and South Korea, as well as parts of Iran. Read More

JAL, ANA offer free cancellations

Two of Japan's major airlines, JAL and ANA, are offering free refunds for all tickets through March 19th that have been canceled as a result of fears about the coronavirus. Read More

Travel Advisory: Visitors from Korea Regions Restricted Access

Visitors with a travel history to Korea's Daegu City or Cheongdo County within 14 days are being restricted access to Japan (Effective Feb 27th 2020). Read More

Travel Advisory: Visitors from China Regions Restricted Access

Visitors from Wuhan (Hubei)and Zhejiang Provinces are being restricted access to Japan and may not be allowed to land in Japan (Effective Feb 13th 2020). Read More

Temporarily Closed Places in Japan: A-Z Directory

Mazda Museum

Mazda Museum

Although it was planned to reopen the Mazda Museum in October 2020 at the earliest, the reopening date has been further postponed in order to prevent..

Hiroshima
Naeba Ski Resort

Naeba Ski Resort

The Naeba ski slope's business operations will resume on December 19, 2020 down to March 28, 2021.

Niigata
Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant

5 (1Review)

Temporarily closed until further notice due to coronavirus measures

Tokyo
Toei Animation Museum

Toei Animation Museum

Closed temporarily until further notice, as part of nationwide anti-coronavirus measures.

Tokyo

Cancelled events

Numerous events in Japan since March 2020 have been cancelled, postponed, or scaled back. You can view our full list of event cancellations in Japan for those we have published on our site. Many events, like Tokyo Game Show 2020, are going online only.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed to 2021. The event will keep the name 'Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020'.

How to stay safe in Japan

What were the implications of the April 2020 State of Emergency?

Summary: An April 2020 State of Emergency was lifted on May 25th.

  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe originally announced state of emergency proceedings in Tokyo and beyond on April 8th—becoming nationwide and soon extended until the end of May.
  • With infection rates suppressed and under control, it was lifted early on May 25th, allowing many businesses to re-open. 
  • Many companies and businesses since operate under 'new normal' measures, with social distancing and hygiene precautions being taken at most public areas.
  • Sightseeing spots face a gradual reopening — we are doing our best to keep our closure information up-to-date, but always check in advance of any planned outing with the official website for any attraction.

What precautions work best against coronavirus?

The World Health Organization's advice is as follows:

  • Wash your hands regularly – with soap and warm water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Maintain social distancing – avoid those who are coughing or sneezing (at least 1m). Some countries are implementing lockdowns and recommending keeping 2m from strangers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth – potential points of entry for coronavirus particles
  • Practice respiratory hygiene – covering your mouth when you cough, and disposing of tissues promptly followed by washing hands.
  • Wear a maskAs of June 5th 2020, WHO adapted its advice to recommend wearing a face covering to help prevent the spread of infection. See their dedicated guidance here on face masks.

Should I wear a mask?

Summary: The WHO now officially recommends wearing face masks as of June 5th 2020.

There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding the use of masks, ranging from their effectiveness, differing attitudes in the West and the stigma of wearing them, and even instances of panic buying and price gouging.

If you are travelling in Japan and can find them, we recommend wearing a face mask as a general precaution. Whilst the common surgical mask is not thought to be effective against blocking microscopic coronavirus particles (aerosols), they can help with both respiratory hygiene (protecting others) and keeping you from needlessly touching your face (protecting yourself until you can wash your hands).

Do I need travel insurance?

Whether you are already in Japan, preparing for a trip, or are planning ahead, we recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance. This is both to insure against the prospect of unforeseen medical expenses if the need arise, but also against changing travel plans as the situation develops.

Note that it is essential to check your home country travel advice if you plan to travel to Japan. This is to ensure there is no impact on your insurance coverage.

What should I do if concerned by coronavirus in Japan?

Contact JNTO's Visitor Hotline. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operate a 24/7 visitor hotline service, available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. It can be called for assistance in case of accidents or emergencies relating to the coronavirus:

  • From Japan 050-3816-2787
  • From Overseas +81-50-3816-2787

What should I do if I feel sick?

Japan's official guidance has been to encourage people to self-isolate if they suspect they have related symptoms: 

  • 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher fever lasting for 4 or more days,
  • Cold symptoms
  • Severe lethargy
  • Breathing difficulties.

Japan is expanding its daily testing capabilities to help make it easier to access relevant medical treatment where needed.

Those in at-risk groups can expected to be referred for treatment and/or testing in a quicker timeframe.

This step-by-step consultation flow released by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is an easy-to-follow guide on what to do if you think you may be affected by coronavirus-related symptoms. You can also consult:

You can also consult these multilingual hotlines around Japan's prefectures:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center Himawari 03-5285-8181 English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Thai.
  • Saitama Prefecture 048-833-3296 English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Nepalese.
  • Osaka Prefecture 06-6941-2297 English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese.
  • Kyoto Prefecture 075-343-9666 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Hyogo Prefecture 078-382-2052 English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Gunma Prefecture 027-289-8275 English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Yamaguchi Prefecture 092-687-6639 English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Indonesian, Portuguese, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Burmese and Khmer.
  • Hiroshima Prefecture 0120-783-806 English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Indonesian, Thai, Spanish and Nepalese.
  • Shiga Prefecture 077-523-5646 English, Chinese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Nepalese, Korean, Spanish, Russian and Hindi.
  • Wakayama Prefecture 073-435-5240 English, Chinese and Tagalog.
  • Mie Prefecture 080-3300-8077 English, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indonesian and Thai.
  • Gifu Prefecture 058-263-8066 English, Chinese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Nepalese, Korean, Spanish, Khmer, Myanmar, Malay and Mongolian.
  • Kumamoto Prefecture 080-4275-4489 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, Malay, French, Russian, German, Italian, Burmese, Khmer and Mongolian.
  • Fukuoka Prefecture 092-286-9595 English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Indonesian, Portuguese, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Burmese and Khmer.
  • Okinawa Prefecture 0570-050-235 English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Thai.
  • Hokkaido Prefecture 011-200-9595 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, Russian, Nepalese, Indonesian and Burmese.

What is the current situation in Japan?

Updated: July 21st (Source: NHK)
Origin Confirmed Severe Died Recovered

Domestic

Includes evacuees
from the Chinese
province of Hubei.

25,844 +419 47 988 +2 19,757

Diamond
Princess

712 0 13 659

Compare Japan's situation with countries around the world via WHO's daily sitreps, or view our real-time tracker.

Is it safe to travel to Japan?

Can I enter Japan?

Summary: As of Aug 30th, 159 countries and territories are subject to an entry ban for visitors who have passed through them within the last 14 days.

Please see JNTO's official site for the full list.

Those who are permitted entry to Japan will be subject to undergo PCR tests and to quarantine for 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief for the time being (as of June 3rd). Public transportation should not be used during this time.

Note: As of July 22nd, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced relaxed re-entry procedures for foreign residents who may have been stuck overseas as travel restrictions came in to place in April 2020. This should allow permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals to return, among those in other special categories (please consult the MOFA website). We suggest confirming with immigration on the latest status if you need to leave Japan but also plan to return.

Official Japan travel advisories

Please consult these official advisories from countries overseas to gauge the current advice on travelling overseas at this time.

Updated: April 7th
Country Status ( Global advisory )
USA Do not travel
UK Avoid all but essential travel

Japan is part of a list of countries exempt from global advisory. 
Note that an entry ban remains on short-term visitors from the UK.
Updated: July 4th, 2020

Singapore Defer all travel abroad

As of Sep 18th, the Residence Track was launched, also allowing access to Work Pass holders yet to enter Singapore.

As of Sep 30th, the Reciprocal Green Lane (Business Track)permits essential business and official travel between Japan and Singapore

Canada Avoid non-essential travel
Australia Do not travel overseas at this time
NZ Do not travel overseas at this time

Note: as the coronavirus has spread across the world, many countries are launching their own containment measures (including temporarily closing borders in some cases), thus advising their citizens to defer their immediate travel plans. Please always check your local authority's latest guidance before planning or attempting to travel.

WHO (World Health Organization)

Coronavirus information

JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)

Official coronavirus updates
@JapanSafeTravel

Tokyo Metropolitan Govt

If you feel concerned by Covid-19 (step-by-step consultation)

MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)

Official updates

Covid-19 Tracker