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U.S. Citizen Services
Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (December 3, 2021)
December 3, 2021


Starting December 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States, regardless of nationality. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant.

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 in Japan 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 COVID-19 test before boarding a flight to the United States.


Since November 29, Japan has announced a series of increased travel restrictions and quarantine measures in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. While some of these measures, including a pause in airline ticket sales for passengers inbound for Japan, have been partially reversed, U.S. citizens planning travel to Japan should consult Japanese government sources for the latest information. For airline reservations, please note it may take several days before purchase options are fully restored on travel websites.

Under strengthened COVID-19 prevention rules, 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 U.S. Embassy is unable to intervene on behalf of citizens either denied boarding at their point of origin or entry into Japan if airline and/or border entry control officials deem travelers do not meet the necessary criteria for entry into Japan.

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. The previous reduced quarantine of 10 days for vaccinated travelers no longer applies under any circumstances.

All authorized 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 boarding at their point of origin or entry into Japan.

Travelers arriving from certain areas may be required to quarantine for a period in a government-designated location. The 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. Other areas are expected to be added over the next few days.

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. Please note that transits requiring an overnight stay are not allowed under current regulations.

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.

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State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747