Date: March 22, 2021
State of Emergency Declaration Lifted
On March 21, 2021, the Japanese government ended the state of emergency covering Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba. The Government of Japan’s national emergency declaration has now been lifted nationwide despite some restrictions, especially those involving the early closure of nightlife establishments (bars, restaurants and other entertainment outlets) remaining in place.
However, COVID-19 case numbers in parts of Japan are rebounding, with media reports indicating the number of new patients nationwide is up almost 10 percent from a week ago. The prevalence of new COVID-19 strains is also increasing around the country. The Government of Japan continues to urge residents to take all possible precautions against the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding crowded areas. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to comply with all local and national COVID-19 mitigation measures.
The U.S. Embassy and consulates are open for routine services, but appointment availability remains limited. To schedule an appointment, visit our website for instructions.
U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. and Japanese Governments, including social distancing and mask wearing, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. United States Forces Japan bases have instituted a number of restrictions based on local conditions in response to their declared Public Health Emergency. Many restrictions are specific to individual bases or areas. For more information, please contact base command officials.
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates in Japan
The Japanese government has begun vaccinating front-line medical personnel, a process that is anticipated to take several weeks. Minister Kono announced that vaccinations of senior citizens will start on April 12. The Japanese government published an English language website about the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, NHK published English language information on the vaccine rollout and inoculation process on their website. Municipalities will provide the vaccine with the guidance of the central government. U.S. citizens are urged to review carefully the available information, and monitor news for further updates. For assistance, please contact your municipal government offices. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has also established a multilingual telephone hotline: 0120-565653. English is available from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
COVID-19 Testing for Travel to the United States
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that, beginning January 26, 2021, all air travelers to the United States are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to boarding their flight. U.S. citizens are subject to this rule. More information is available on the CDC website. Any traveler, including U.S. citizens, who does not show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 will not be permitted to board their flight. A list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found on the Embassy website. This list is not comprehensive.
Continued Restrictions for Travel to Japan
Despite the lifting of the state of emergency, the Government of Japan continues to enforce strict travel regulations that bar most new foreign entry into Japan. Foreign tourists and non-resident foreign business travelers remain prohibited from entering Japan. Japanese citizens and foreign residents with a reentry permit are generally allowed to reenter Japan but must comply with strict pre- and post- travel testing requirements and self-quarantine upon arrival. Regardless of the international point of origin, all travelers entering Japan remain subject to a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival and are prohibited from using public transportation to include domestic flights, taxis, and rail. Travelers arriving from certain areas, or without proof of pre-departure COVID-19 testing, may be required to quarantine for a period of time in a government-designated location.
Travelers seeking to transit Japan en route to onward international destinations may continue to do so without quarantine as long as the transit occurs within the same airport.
For information on Japan’s updated travel restrictions, please see these websites:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Phased Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Application for Visa for Foreign Nationals Eligible for Phase Measures toward Resuming Cross-Border Travel
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Border Enforcement Measures to Prevent the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Ministry of Justice: Information Related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Immigration Service Agency
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.
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.
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