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COVID-19 Information
19 MINUTE READ
April 27, 2021

Last updated: April 27, 2021

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information:

The U.S. Embassy and consulates continue to monitor closely COVID-19 conditions in Japan. The national state of emergency has been lifted in all prefectures. Effective April 25, 2021, the Government of Japan reimposed a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto prefectures. The declaration is scheduled to terminate on May 11 but could be extended further as previous states of emergency have been and as determined by government authorities. Under the current state of emergency, bars and restaurants serving alcohol, department stores (with the exception of sections selling basic needs), amusement parks, and other recreation facilities are requested to close temporarily. Non-compliance may be punishable by fine as enforced by Japan’s Special Measures laws. Restaurants not serving alcohol are asked to close by 8:00 PM. In addition, some public transportation providers are asked to reduce service on weekends and holidays, and companies are requested to increase substantially the number of employees teleworking.

U.S. citizens are strongly urged to continue to take personal health measures to protect themselves, including socially distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding crowded areas with poor ventilation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend that U.S. citizens get flu shots to prevent a major flu outbreak. Finally, the U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to comply with all COVID-19 mitigation guidance from central and local government officials.

Face masks are almost universally worn in public, especially in urban areas, indoors and on public transportation. U.S. citizens should be aware that failure to adhere to mask-wearing norms reflects poorly on foreign residents.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Japan? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • Travelers should contact their local health provider to determine the location of testing facilities within Japan. A non-comprehensive list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found here on the Embassy website.
  • Method of delivery of test results will vary between clinics, please consult with your provider prior to undergoing testing.
  • Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy at TokyoACS@state.gov (for U.S. citizens) or TokyoVisaService@state.gov (for visa applicants), and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
  • The following information must be provided for each passenger:
    • Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
    • Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
    • Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
    • U.S. destination address
    • Is U.S. destination home address?
    • Departure date
    • Flight itinerary
    • Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
    • Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
    • Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
    • Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
    • Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers)
    • Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
    • Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
    • Due to the ready availability of COVID-19 testing options in Japan, the Embassy anticipates that any waiver request will be extremely rare.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Japan approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Japan for U.S. citizens to receive? No
  • Which vaccines are available in Japan? Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved in Japan. Other vaccines may be approved in the future.
  • The Government of Japan launched an English language website with information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Japan. For the most up-to-date information about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Japan, consult with your medical provider. U.S. citizens should also follow local media for updates on the vaccination campaign’s progress.
  • The Government of Japan is currently vaccinating health care workers and individuals age 65 and up. The U.S. Embassy expects that U.S. citizens will be able to receive vaccinations as they become available to their age group.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Very limited.

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges any U.S. citizens considering travel to Japan to review carefully the information available from the Government of Japan. Military travelers arriving in Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement should consult with their chain of command to ensure they understand quarantine and restriction of movement requirements prior to beginning travel.

Travel for tourism and most other short-term purposes is still not permitted, and there is no indication that this will change in the short term. Visa-free travel is suspended. The Government of Japan makes no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers in its COVID-related entry requirements.

Vaccination status has no impact on an individual’s eligibility to travel to Japan, and Japan’s quarantine restrictions apply regardless of vaccination status.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Japan reimplemented strict travel regulations barring most foreign entry into Japan effective Monday, December 28. In addition, specific entry restrictions have been implemented for any traveler who has been present in an area with identified infections of the new COVID-19 variant. This includes several U.S. states, and more may be added in the future. While Japanese citizens and foreign residents with a reentry permit will be generally permitted to reenter the country, current restrictions include suspension of short-term travel programs, suspension of quarantine relaxations for certain travelers, imposition of travel deadlines for already-issued visas, and enhanced COVID-19 screening protocols for travelers arriving from specific locations. Visa free travel, and all travel for tourism, remains suspended. U.S. citizens without a current visa who have urgent need to travel to Japan should consult with their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. Similarly, travelers with valid travel visas wishing to enter Japan should also confirm the validity of relevant travel documents along with any conditions of entry with the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate prior to starting onward travel to Japan.

For information on Japan’s updated travel restrictions, please see these websites:

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes

U.S. citizens seeking information about visa extensions should consult with the Immigration Service Agency.

Please note: These complex regulations are subject to change with little notice. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to intervene on behalf of travelers denied boarding at their point of embarkation or denied entry upon arrival to Japan is extremely limited, and those travelers denied entry at Japanese ports of entry will likely be immediately reboarded on flights back to the United States.

For questions regarding the government of Japan’s travel restrictions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides contact information in Section Five of this website.

Movement Restrictions:

Is a curfew in place? No
Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes

All travelers arriving to Japan are required to self-quarantine at their home or other location for 14 days. Travelers arriving without proper documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of flight departure may be asked to quarantine for a period of time in a facility designated by the Government of Japan. The Government of Japan recently announced that foreign residents, including U.S. citizens, who are found to disregard quarantine instructions may have their residency status canceled and face deportation. More information can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes

Face masks are almost universally worn in public, especially in urban areas, indoors and on public transportation. U.S. citizens should be aware that failure to adhere to mask-wearing norms reflects poorly on foreign residents.

Fines for Non-Compliance (if applicable)

Foreign residents found to disregard quarantine instructions may have their residency status canceled and face deportation.

Consular Operations

What ACS services are being offered? The U.S. Embassy and consulates continue to provide emergency services and have resumed some routine services with limited appointment availability. To schedule an appointment with the American Citizen Services unit, visit this website.

What visa services are being offered? The U.S. Embassy and consulates continue to provide mission-critical and emergency visa services and have resumed some routine services with limited appointment availability. To schedule an appointment with the visa unit, visit this website.

United States Forces Japan Restrictions:

United States Forces Japan bases have instituted a number of restrictions based on local conditions. Many restrictions are specific to individual bases or areas. For more information, please contact base command officials.

Local Resources:

Below are sources of local COVID-19 information in English. U.S. citizens should closely monitor trusted local news sources and local authorities’ communications for updates and information. This list is not exhaustive:

The Japan National Tourism Organization maintains up-to-date information on screening and quarantine measures for travelers. It also operates a 24/7 visitor hotline, available in English. To call from Japan: 050-3816-2787; from overseas: +81-50-3816-2787.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also has a 24/7 hotline at +81-3-3595-2176 with English-speaking operators, and has a Q&A on the new measures.

The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia Medical Information Center are operating a hotline to assist foreign nationals in Japan with questions about COVID-19. It is available from 10:00 to 17:00, and can be reached at 03-6233-9266. More information can be found here.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched a multilingual call center on COVID-19 for foreign residents. They can be reached by phone from 10:00 to 17:00, Monday through Friday, at 0120-296-004. Callers should note that the initial recording is in Japanese, but if you stay on the line you can be assisted in English.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has a dedicated page on COVID-19.

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has a dedicated COVID-19 page with additional information, including information on how to seek medical care in Japan. JNTO also operates a 24-hour hotline for visitors.

If you are currently in Japan and believe that you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please call JNTO’s hotline at 050-3816-2787.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government published a chart on what to do if you’re worried you might be infected with COVID-19: (English) (Japanese)

Other links: