Entry/Exit: Japan expands travel ban to residents of Zhejiang Province, China, from Feb. 13. Enhanced health screenings ongoing. Quarantine possible.
Severity: Warning Alert
This alert affects Japan
This alert began 12 Feb 2020 05:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Preventative restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel ban for travelers from Hubei and Zhejiang, China; enhanced health screenings; possible quarantine
Japanese officials will expand a ban to passengers and passport holders from China's Zhejiang Province from Feb. 13 to help prevent the spread of 2019-novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Previously, Tokyo had only banned travelers and residents of Hubei Province from entering the country. Authorities could expand the ban to cover additional provinces from China at short notice.
The announcement is likely to impact flight operations between mainland China and Japan further. 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. Authorities at 13 airports, including those in Nagasaki (NGS), Okayama (OKJ), and Niigata (KIJ), in the country plan to suspended direct flights with mainland China; officials said the suspensions would take effect on or before Feb. 15.
Officials continue to carry out enhanced health screenings at points of entry across the country for passengers from mainland China after classifying the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, 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 174 cases on the boat as of Feb. 12.
Follow all official instructions. Plan for transport disruptions; confirm reservations for flights between mainland China and Japan. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from China. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, 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.