Japan enhancing health screenings as of Feb. 6 to prevent the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus. Quarantine possible for infected travelers.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 06 Feb 2020 07:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 Feb 2020 23:00 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Enhanced health screenings; possible quarantine

Summary
Japanese officials have further enhanced health screenings at points of entry across the country for passengers from mainland China after classifying 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as a "designated infectious disease" Feb. 1. Travelers will still need to complete a health declaration and report any symptoms or potential exposure to officials upon arrival. The designation allows the government to implement more restrictions, such as enforced hospitalization or banning infected passengers. Officials have used the measure to quarantine and prevent a cruise ship from disembarking passengers in Yokohama after a passenger was confirmed to have the virus in Hong Kong; authorities have confirmed at least 20 cases on the boat.

As of Feb. 6, authorities have not implemented any travel restrictions on passengers from mainland China; however, such measures cannot be ruled and could occur at short notice. Some large Japanese carriers, such as Japan Airlines (JL) and All Nippon Airways (NH), have reduced flights on routes to mainland China due to decreased demand.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Plan for transport disruptions, especially if traveling between Hong Kong and mainland China. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from China. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.