Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Japan expands list of countries facing travel bans to include the US, Brazil, Australia, and others from April 3. Further controls continue.

This alert affects Japan

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 13:17 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 01:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Quarantine measures, travel restrictions, enhanced health screenings, transport disruptions; likely business disruptions

Summary
Japanese officials will expand travel bans and mandatory quarantine measures to passengers from additional countries beginning 0001 April 3. The measures are aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Authorities prohibit entry for foreign nationals who have visited specific countries 14 days of their arrival in Japan. From 0001 April 3, these measures, which were already in place for dozens of countries and territories, will be expanded to include the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all of mainland China and South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the UK, Bahrain, Israel, Turkey, Cote d'Ivoire, the DRC, Egypt, Mauritius, and Morocco.

Entry bans which had previously been imposed on the following countries and areas, are continuing as of April 1: Iran, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Italy, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Vatican City, Zhejiang and Hubei provinces in China, Daegu; Cheongdo, Chilgok, Gunwei, Seongju, Uiseong counties and Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeongcheon cities in North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea.

All inbound travelers, including Japanese nationals, arriving from numerous other countries are subject to 14-day quarantines upon arrival in Japan. Authorities require arrivals to quarantine either in a designated facility or in their homes. From 0001 April 3, the following areas will be included in the mandatory quarantine measures: Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritius, and Morocco.

As of April 1, such mandatory quarantine measures were already applied to the following countries and territories: the US, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, all Schengen Agreement member countries in Europe, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Andorra, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the UK, Vatican City, Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Qatar, Egypt, and the DRC.

International travel bans and mandatory quarantine measures are set to continue until further notice. Authorities could expand travel bans and quarantine measures to cover additional areas, including entire countries, at short notice depending on COVID-19 activity.

Officials continue to carry out enhanced health screenings at points of entry across the country. Travelers must still complete a health declaration and report any symptoms or potential exposure upon arrival. Immigration authorities may implement more restrictions, such as enforced hospitalization or banning infected passengers.

Flights from South Korea and China are only authorized to land at Narita International Airport (NRT) and Kansai International Airport (KIX). Additional restrictions on international flights are likely in the coming days. Even in the absence of further official control measures, international flight disruptions will probably continue in the coming weeks, and possibly months, due to severely decreased demand. Authorities have suspended international passenger ferry services. Domestic travel may face service disruptions from decreased demand.

Numerous national governments have raised their alert levels for Japan and are advising their citizens against nonessential travel to the country due to COVID-19 activity. Some governments have banned foreign nationals with recent travel history in Japan from entering their countries. Additional travel restrictions to and from Japan are possible in the coming days and weeks.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Postpone travel if affected by an entry ban. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Confirm international flight reservations. Closely monitor national travel advisories, as additional restrictions to and from Japan are likely. Consider telecommuting options for staff. Make allowances for likely increased employee absenteeism and related business disruptions.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Travel Japan: www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus