For travelers visiting or planning to visit Japan:Summary of information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan.

Last update :
Written by Editorial department

The outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Dec. 2019. The infection has continued to spread each day since.

In Japan, cases of infection have been confirmed, while the effects of the outbreak continue to appear in many parts of the country. Many overseas tourists planning to visit Japan may experience the following common concerns:

The real situation in Japan, whether entry into the country is still allowed, how this effects their daily tourism, the degree risk of infection and so on. With so much different information flying about, what can foreign tourists do to gain correct information and be able to visit Japan safely without undue anxiety?

Coronavirus spreading around the world
Coronavirus spreading around the world

This article will provide information on the current situation for people intending to visit Japan, enabling them to get prepared and take any precautions as necessary.

Status of Novel Coronavirus Infections in Japan.

*Last updated: April 1st

Number of infected in Japan

A total of 2,945 individuals:
- 2,233 who were infected in Japan or travelers from China
- 712 cruise ship passengers and crew
- 14 who returned to Japan using a chartered aircraft

Number of deaths in Japan

A total of 77 individuals:
- 66 who were infected in Japan
- 11 who were onboard the cruise ship

Number of discharged patients in Japan

A total of 2,233 individuals:
1043 discharged from hospital

1. The Number of Reported Cases in Japan

The official government stance is that the novel coronavirus infections in Japan do not yet constitute as an epidemic. Just as with a common cold or seasonal influenza, people are asked to wash their hands and by observing coughing etiquette.

In order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), the Japanese government has announced that starting from March 9th, all travelers from China and South Korea must be quarantined for 14 days before being able to enter the country. The Japanese government will also be restricting the number of flights from China and South Korea, which will only be able to land at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, and at Kansai International Airport. These measures will be in place until the end of March.

Status of novel coronavirus infections in Japan

2. Japanese government response to novel coronavirus infections

(1) Denial of entry into Japan of travelers from Hubei and Zhejiang provinces

The Japanese government has classified the novel coronavirus as a designated infectious disease. Measures to refuse entry to Japan have commenced for foreigners who have visited Hubei Province within 14 days prior to their application to enter Japan, and Chinese passport holders with passports issued in the provinces of Hubei or Zhejiang, irrespective of the presence or absence of infection. Therefore, it is currently not possible to enter Japan from Hubei or Zhejiang, China. This applies both for direct entry to Japan from these provinces, and also in cases that meet the above criteria, so travelers are warned to take note.

Confirm entry conditions
Confirm entry conditions

(2) Checking for infection at quarantine stations

People entering Japan who are suspected of having contracted novel coronavirus infection will be checked for infection at quarantine stations at ports and airports. Measures to be taken include questioning by quarantine officers, medical examinations, inspections that are deemed necessary, and disinfection (of the interior of the aircraft or vessel).

(3) Japan Visitor Hotline (Call Center for Foreign Travelers)

Through the official JNTO Twitter and Weibo accounts, basic information on the novel coronavirus and measures for hand washing, gargling, etc. will be widely disseminated. Meanwhile, a system is in place whereby responses can be made to inquiries made to the call center established by the JNTO in multiple languages, 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Main types of inquiries that can be made

Inquiries related to cancellation fees
・Eg: You have had to cancel a hotel booking and would like a refund, but do not know who to contact.
Inquiries related to complaints about ill health
・Eg: With symptoms of cough and fever, you have concerns about novel coronavirus
・Eg: Guests staying in your hotel are displaying symptoms of coughing and fever.

Call center that is open 24 hours/day, 365 days/year
Call center that is open 24 hours/day, 365 days/year
Phone number
050-3816-2787
Available
365 days, 24 hours
Available languages
English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
Scope of services
emergency information (illness, accidents, etc), disaster information, general tourist information

About the holding of and participation in events that attract large numbers of people

If participating in an event that attracts large numbers of people, each individual should observe frequent hand washing and cough etiquette. Meanwhile, organizers of such events are requested to take measures to the extent possible, such as supplying alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the venue.

3. Response measures at airports

Major airports in Japan are taking the following measures. Many airports have responded by strengthening their disinfection procedures and having staff wear masks. Please refer to specific airport websites for concrete measures that are being taken.

Certain airlines have suspended or reduced flights, so visitors to Japan are recommended to check with their airline before departure.
In particular, flights to mainland China should be checked carefully.

The response at airports

Narita Airport

As a countermeasure against the spread of novel coronavirus, Narita Airport is strengthening its sanitation procedures by disinfecting doorknobs, handrails (including on moving walkways/ escalators), and baggage cart handles in the terminal building.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been made available in various locations around the terminal.

Narita Airport is located in the city of Narita. The city’s website lists a 24-hour medical consultation hotline. Inquiries can be made 24 hours/day, 365 days/year free of charge on the following number:
0120-24-1130

Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport employees are proactively wearing masks to prevent the spread of infection.

Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport employees are proactively wearing masks to prevent the spread of infection.

Chubu Centrair International Airport

Chubu Centrair International Airport is encouraging staff to wear masks to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus infection. Some restaurants, bars, and stores at the airport offer tastings and free samples, however, these have been temporarily suspended in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been installed in various locations around the terminal.

4. Response Measures for Public Transportation, Hotels, Inns and Souvenir Shops

Tourist spots, commercial facilities with heavy foot traffic and public transportation methods that see groups traveling over long distances are all increasing the use of medical masks and other measures to prevent further spread of the virus. When using or visiting such facilities, it’s advised that you wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.

Japanese souvenir shop

Preventative Measures Against Corona Virus

Currently, frequent hand-washing, hand-sanitization, gargling and the use of face masks are considered effective measures against coronavirus. In crowded areas, cough and cold etiquette are required to prevent further spread of the infection. Below is a guide on how to perform these methods correctly.

1. Hand washing

As is true for common infectious diseases, there are various routes for the transmission of infection by novel coronavirus. These include oral infection, where one is infected through food that is eaten; droplet infection (airborne infection), in which one is infected via the nose and mouth by pathogens that are expelled as small, invisible particles invisible when someone sneezes or coughs; and contact infection, where one is infected by touching contaminated objects. While these various routes of transmission exist, hand washing is said to be considerably effective in preventing infection. In particular, it is essential for preventing contact and oral infections. Frequent and thorough hand-washing is advised before meals, upon returning home and when in crowded areas.

While many people wash their palms thoroughly, it`s easy to overlook giving sufficient attention to fingertips, thumbnails, between the fingers and around the wrists. Plaese be aware that many people also tend to neglect washing their dominant hand sufficiently.

To prevent the propagation of pathogens on soap and towels, make sure to always use clean towns and soap from a pump container that discourages the transmission of microorganisms.

How to wash your hands correctly
How to wash your hands correctly

Watch on video (YouTube)

2. Hand Sanitation

Recently, the use of alcohol (had sanitizer) has increased as it offers quick efficiency and an excellent rate of reducing surface bacteria on the hands and fingers. Hand sanitizer can often be found at the entrance to commercial facilities, airports, and hotels, so its frequent use in conjunction with hand washing will prove even more effective in the prevention of infection.

Hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer

3. Gargling

Droplet/Airborne infection occurs upon inhaling the viruses scattered in the air where someone has sneezed or coughed. This poses a serious threat of infection. However, symptoms do not appear immediately after inhaling the virus. It is important to flush out the virus before it enters the cells.

從外出地點回到家中後,請先漱口,把附著在喉嚨黏膜上的病毒給沖掉吧
Gargling

Generally effective gargle method

  1. Prepare a suitable amount of water or green tea (which is said to have a bactericidal effect), or a diluted mouthwash in a glass. Gargle three times using the liquid.
  2. The first time you gargle, the purpose is to remove food particles that have been left in the mouth. Gargle the liquid in your mouth with a strong action.
  3. The second and third times, tilt your head backward so that the liquid reaches the back of your throat and gargle for about 15 seconds.

4. Wearing of masks

When worn properly, masks are considered effective to prevent infection and the spread of infection. However, masks are currently in short supply in Japan and are sometimes difficult to buy at drug stores and convenience stores where they are normally easily purchased. For your peace of mind, it is advisable to purchase a more than sufficient quantity before traveling.

Watch on video (YouTube)

5. Cough etiquette

Many infectious diseases are transmitted through droplets that enter the air when coughing or sneezing. Cough etiquette refers to the use of a mask, tissue, handkerchief, or a sleeve to cover the mouth and nose when an individual coughs or sneezes in order to prevent the transmission of such infections to others. It is especially important to practice cough etiquette in places where people come together, such as on trains, and in workplaces and schools.

What to do if you should develop symptoms of novel coronavirus while in Japan

If you develop symptoms of novel coronavirus while visiting Japan, where can you contact and what can you do to receive treatment?

1. Japan Tourism Agency

If you become ill during your visit to Japan, there are websites that offer information on medical facilities that you can visit. Please use the websites on the link below.

2. Japan Visitor Hotline: call center for foreign travelers

As mentioned above, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has established the Japan Visitor Hotline, a multi-lingual call center that is available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year in order to ensure the safety and security of foreign travelers in an emergency.
The hotline will respond to inquiries related to novel coronavirus.

Phone number
050-3816-2787
Available
24 hours, 365 days
Available languages
English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
Scope of services
emergency information (illness, accidents, etc), disaster information, general tourist information

3. Contact your embassy

USA

Address
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3224-5000
Opening hours
10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon (telephone).
Visits must be made by reservation only.
Official website
Official website

Australia

Address
2-1-14 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-5232-4111
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.–12:30 noon / 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Canada

Address
7-3-38 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-5412-6200
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 5:30 p.m.
Official website
Official website

UK

Address
1-1 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-5211-1100
Opening hours
9:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. (Embassy)
Official website
Official website

Philippines

Address
5-15-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-5562-1600 / 080-4928-7979 (in emergencies)
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Vietnam

Address
50-11 Motoyoyogicho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3466-3313
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 12:00 noon / 2:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Indonesia

Address
5-2-9 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3441-4201
Opening hours
9:30 a.m.– 11:30 a.m. / 3:00 p.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Thailand

Address
3-14-6 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-5789-2433
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 12:00 noon / 1:30 p.m.– 5:30 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Singapore

Address
5-12-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3586-9111~2 / 090-3208-4122 (in emergencies)
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 12:00 noon
Official website
Official website

Malaysia

Address
5-12-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3476-3840
Opening hours
9:00 a.m.– 12:30 noon / 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Official website
Official website

South Korea

Address
1-2-5 Minamiazabu, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3452-7611/9 (switchboard)/090-1693-5773, 090-4544-6602 (in emergencies)
Opening hours
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Official website
Official website

Russia

Address
2-1-1 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone number
03-3583-4224 / 03-3583-5982 / 03-3583-4297
Opening hours
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (until 5:30 p.m. during summer)
Official website
Official website