Last updated on 17 May 2021
Travelling to Japan may be a far fetch dream for now as the world is on temporary travel lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your travel plans may have taken a back seat but you might be wondering, "Can I travel to Japan now?". If you're planning to travel to Japan for your future getaways, here's everything you should know about the COVID-19 situation in Japan.
What is the COVID-19 situation in Japan now?
Since May 2021, Japan has recorded a spike of COVID-19 cases in major cities such as Tokyo, Hokkaido and Sapporo. The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a growing concern for the Japanese government as the country is set to welcome the Tokyo Olympics and introduce 'vaccine passport' for international travel this year.
Can I travel to Japan now?
The short answer is no, for now. Japan has temporarily closed its international borders to non-essential travel since early 2020. However, Japanese nationals are allowed to return to enter the country, as the citizens are protected by their constitutional right.
What are the travel restrictions in Japan?
According to Japan Times, Japan has released a list of countries that are on their entry ban list including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, and more (view the full list here). As of May 2021, only the following citizens and residents are allowed to re-enter Japan:
- Permanent residents and spouses and children of permanent residents
- Spouses and children of Japanese nationals
- Long-term resident visa holders
On top of that, highly skilled professional visa and working visa holders, student holders and other visa statuses are not allowed to re-enter Japan.
What are the quarantine requirements in Japan?
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, these are the following quarantine requirements that must be fulfil before re-entering Japan:
- Submit a certificate of negative test result conducted within 72 hours prior to departing for Japan.
- Undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival
- Stay at a location designated by the quarantine station chief for 14 days
- Refrain from taking public transport for 14 days until the quarantine is complete
- Sign and submit the Written Pledge when entering Japan
- For countries or regions with community transmission of COVID-19 variants of concern, they need to stay for an additional 3 days at specific facilities designated by the chief of the quarantine station. On the third day, they are required to take the COVID-19 test again and may only leave if they receive a negative result at the facility and have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
What is the latest update on the COVID-19 vaccination in Japan?
As reported by Time Out Tokyo, the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out has officially begun in Japan. In 2021, Japan has approved COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZenaca as part of the country's main inoculation drive. Japan has administered vaccines for front liners and the elderly. Next on their list is the athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics by late June and followed by the general public aged 16 years and above that's set to begin in early July 2021.
It may be a while before we can travel safely to Japan again, but as long as we band together against the COVID-19 pandemic, better days be here before you know it.