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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (April 13, 2020)
April 13, 2020

Location: Japan

State of Emergency in Japan

On April 7, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for seven prefectures – Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka – for a period of one month until May 6. More prefectures may be added to the list covered by Prime Minister Abe’s declaration or may announce their own COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The prime minister outlined measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and asked people to avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. Additionally, the following prefectural governments have declared their own states of emergency and/or requested to be added to the national declaration: Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Hokkaido, Kyoto, and Ishikawa. Below are sources of local COVID-19 information in English:

Please closely monitor trusted local news sources for updates and information.

We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens to comply with measures announced by local authorities, including limiting personal outings, avoiding crowded spaces, using masks or cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and maintaining at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. The CDC has published instructions on how to make cloth face coverings at home. If your employer has made telework available, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this option.

On April 10, the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Joseph Young, recorded a video message to U.S. citizens in Japan.

Suspension of Routine Passport and Citizenship Services

The U.S. Department of State has suspended processing of routine passport and citizenship services. Until further notice, we are only able to issue limited validity emergency passports. Because of this suspension, we are unable to issue Consular Reports of Birth Abroad for infants and children. However, we can document the child’s citizenship with an emergency passport and strongly encourage families to apply for such documentation.

To request an appointment for an emergency passport, including for an infant or child who has not previously been documented as a U.S. citizen, please contact the Embassy or consulate nearest you for assistance.

Decrease in International Flights

International flights are currently available in Japan, but service has diminished significantly . The U.S. government does not anticipate staging repatriation flights in Japan. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements to do so immediately unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Direct flights between the U.S. and Japan are currently only available from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. U.S. citizens who reside abroad should avoid all international travel.

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.

All U.S. Mission Japan facilities remain open and staffed, with non-emergency employees actively teleworking. U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow United States and Japanese government recommended practices promoting social distancing and minimizing non-essential travel.

Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel: The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

CDC Travel Notice for Japan: On March 21, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Warning (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for COVID-19 in Japan.

Actions to Take: