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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (August 19, 2021)
August 19, 2021

Extended and Expanded States of Emergency

The highly infectious COVID-19 delta variant is prevalent throughout Japan, with record-high case numbers leading to strained hospital capacity and medical infrastructure in many areas. In response, on August 17 the Government of Japan extended the ongoing states of emergency in Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Okinawa to September 12, and expanded state-of-emergency measures to Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka effective August 20 through September 12.

The Government of Japan also extended the ongoing quasi-state of emergency measures in the Fukushima, Aichi, Shiga, Kumamoto, Hokkaido, and Ishikawa prefectures to September 12, and expanded quasi-state of emergency measures to Miyagi, Toyama, Yamanashi, Gifu, Mie, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kagoshima from August 20 through September 12.

Under the state of emergency and quasi-state of emergency measures, restaurants and bars are asked to curtail operations and refrain from serving alcohol. In addition, citizens are requested to avoid non-essential outings and travel between prefectures. U.S. citizens are urged to follow all national and prefectural COVID-related guidance.

Continued Heavy Rains in Japan

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has forecast heavy rains, wind gusts, and lightning throughout Japan until August 20. Rain and flooding may cause transportation delays. The Meteorological Agency reminds people to remain aware of flooding, swollen rivers, and the potential for mudslides.

Availability of Consular Services During the State of Emergency and the Paralympic Games

The U.S. Embassy and consulates throughout Japan are open for routine services, but appointment availability remains limited. To schedule an appointment, visit our website for instructions. If you are renewing your passport, for faster service please renew by mail by following the instructions on our website. U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices endorsed and requested by the U.S. and Japanese governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

United States Forces Japan bases have instituted 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.

No Spectators for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

The Government of Japan announced that – similarly to the Olympic Games – no spectators will be allowed at competition venues for the Paralympic Games set to begin on August 24. Current ticketholders who wish to obtain information about refunds should contact the ticket agent directly. The Embassy cannot assist with ticket refunds.

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates in Japan

The Japanese government continues its vaccination program and has set up an English language website about the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, NHK published English language information on the vaccine rollout and inoculation process on its website.

The Japanese government has publicly committed to including foreign residents in its vaccination program. U.S. citizens are urged to review the available information and monitor news for updates, including the opening of mass vaccination centers. For assistance regarding vaccine appointment scheduling, please contact your municipal government offices. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has also established a multilingual vaccine call center, which can be reached at 0120-761770.

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. Anyone considering traveling to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine should visit the vaccines.gov website for information.

COVID-19 Testing for Travel to the United States

All air travelers, including U.S. citizens, to the United States are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to boarding their flights. Any travelers, including U.S. citizens, who do 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 flights. A list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found on the Embassy website. This list is not comprehensive.

U.S. military and SOFA status travelers should consult with their chains of command prior to commencing travel.

Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does not exempt travelers from the requirement to receive a negative PCR test no more than three days before boarding a flight to the United States.

Continued Restrictions for Travel to Japan

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

The Government of Japan continues to enforce strict travel regulations that bar most foreigners from entering the country. Foreign tourists and non-resident foreign business travelers remain prohibited. 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 quarantine upon arrival. Regardless of the international point of origin, all travelers entering Japan remain subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival and are prohibited from using public transportation, including domestic flights, taxis, and rail services.

All travelers inbound to Japan must receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of flight departure. These tests must be presented in the prescribed format and must comply with very strict requirements. For details, please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Failure to complete the prescribed form as required by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare may result in denied entry to Japan. Travelers arriving without proof of pre-travel COVID-19 testing completed no more than 72 hours in advance of the departure of their international flight may be denied entry into Japan.

Travelers arriving from certain areas may be required to quarantine for a period of time in a government-designated location. The list of areas in the United States from which travelers to Japan must comply with a mandatory three-day quarantine at the Government of Japan’s designated facilities continues to change, but are currently as indicated below.

Please note that this three-day quarantine does not replace the Government of Japan’s requirement that arriving travelers self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Travelers should check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website before traveling, as the list of states requiring enhanced quarantine measures may change with little notice.

U.S. military and SOFA status personnel should speak with their command about upcoming travel, COVID-19 testing, and any restriction of movement (ROM) or quarantine requirements.

Travelers seeking to transit Japan en route to onward international destinations may continue to do so without quarantine if the transit occurs within the same airport and no overnight stay is required.

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

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges any U.S. citizens considering travel to Japan to carefully review 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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State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747