Date: April 28, 2021
Additional Entry Restrictions
On April 28, 2021, the Government of Japan designated four U.S. states as “Countries/Regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern:” Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota. Effective May 1, 2021, any traveler, regardless of nationality and/or residency status in Japan, who has been physically present in these states in the 14 days preceding travel will be required to quarantine for three days in a facility designated by the quarantine officer upon arrival in Japan. These facilities are typically Japanese business hotels located near the airport. At the end of the three-day period, a PCR exit test will be administered. When a negative result is received, the traveler will be permitted to move to an approved location and complete the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period consistent with previous regulations established by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
More states may be added to this list. All U.S. citizens contemplating travel should closely monitor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for updates and be prepared to comply with these updated quarantine regulations upon their return to Japan. Japan’s quarantine requirements apply regardless of vaccination status.
Third State of Emergency
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. Several prefectural governments continue to ask citizens to refrain from traveling to/from locations where the state of emergency is in effect. There may be other closure requests and COVID-19 mitigation measures put into place in these prefectures. U.S. citizens should monitor local news for updates.
COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in many parts of Japan, not just those included in the most recent state of emergency declaration. 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 monitor local news for updates to guidance for their area and comply with all local and national COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Osaka-Kobe: The Kansai region, including Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto Prefectures, continues to have among the highest incidence of new COVID-19 cases in Japan with hospitals and critical care medical resources now strained beyond capacity. In addition to the state of emergency measures listed above, local governments in all three prefectures have asked people to avoid unnecessary trips across prefectural borders. Up to date official information is available through auto translation at the prefectural links above.
Okinawa: The Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) is currently implementing “Priority Measures to Prevent the Spread of Disease” from April 12 to May 11 (extended from May 5). For details in English, please see the official translation available here. The OPG COVID-19 Task Force will meet April 27 to decide on whether to request a state of emergency declaration.
Fukuoka: The Fukuoka Prefectural Government is asking residents to take preventive measures. For information in English, please see the website here.
The U.S. Embassy and consulates are open for routine services, but appointment availability remains limited. Availability will be even more limited during Japan’s Golden Week celebrations. To schedule an appointment, visit our website for instructions.
U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices endorsed and requested 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 continues to vaccinate front-line medical personnel and citizens age 65 and over. According to recent media reports, the government intends to complete vaccination for senior citizens by the end of July. 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 are providing the vaccine with the guidance of the central government. The Japanese government has publicly committed to including foreign residents in its vaccination program. U.S. citizens are urged to review carefully the available information and monitor news for further updates. For assistance regarding vaccine appointment scheduling, 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
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. U.S. military and SOFA status travelers should consult with their commands on their travel requirements and possible exceptions. 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.
Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does not exempt any traveler 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
The Government of Japan continues to enforce strict travel regulations that bar most new foreigners from entering 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 (such as those present in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, or Tennessee) or without proof of pre-departure COVID-19 testing may be required to quarantine for a period of time in a government-designated location. U.S. military and SOFA status personnel should speak with their command about upcoming travel, COVID-19 testing, and any restriction of movement (ROM)/quarantine requirements. The list of locations that require additional quarantine requirements may change quickly and without much advance notice.
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 information, 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 being denied entry 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.
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 and no overnight stay is required.
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.
- U.S. Embassy Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3224-5000, After-Hours: 03-3224-5000
- U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe
- U.S. Consulate Nagoya
- U.S. Consulate Fukuoka
- U.S. Consulate General Sapporo
- U.S. Consulate General Naha
- State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747