Japan's Travel Policy Regarding COVID-19

Updated: May 8

Writer: Carina Audrey Budiarto | Illustrator: Kinar Nisa


On the 3rd of April 2020, the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia has released a statement regarding the novel COVID-19 (or more commonly known as the Corona Virus). We hope that this article will give our readers clarity upon the situation regarding the travel policy that Japan has placed upon multiple countries.

What’s going on?

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) conducted a press conference on the 3rd of April 2020. They have confirmed that there are 2,617 confirmed cases in Japan (Per 7th April 2020, there are 3,906 cases). Currently, Japan has decided to place denial of entry of foreign nationals from certain countries.


Can I come to Japan?

Based on the information we have received from the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, foreign nationals who are in these three categories are denied entrance of the country (by the 1st of April 2020):

1) Foreign nationals who have traveled to countries specified below in the last 14 days:

  • Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Taiwan, Phillippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia.

  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand.

  • North America: United States of America, Canada.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Ecuador, Chile, Dominica, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia

  • Middle East: Israel, Iran, Turkey, Bahrain

  • Europe: Iceland, Ireland, Albania, Armenia, Andorra, Italy, United Kingdom, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, San Marino, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Romania, Luxembourg

  • Africa: Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Morocco

2) Foreign nationals who hold a passport issued by the Hubei/Zhejiang Province Authority.

3) Foreign Nationals aboard a passenger ship that sails for the purpose of entering the Japanese port and carries a risk of being afflicted by Coronavirus.


Please note that under certain special cases, you may be granted access to land in Japan


So who can enter Japan?

Actually, foreigners with the status of “Permanent Residence”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” or “Long Term Resident” could’ve entered by April 2nd. However, if you depart on or after April 3rd this does not apply. So, for folks who only have “Temporary Resident” status or a “Zairyu Card” (在留カード), unfortunately, you can’t come to Japan. For Indonesian students still back home, there’s still no announcement when the travel ban will be lifted so just sit tight and enjoy online classes from the comfort of your own bed.


Can I apply for a visa?

Yes, you can still apply for a visa, but, you have to fill in a questionnaire on whether or not you have (or you will) travel to the countries stated above 14 days prior to arriving in Japan. If you have (or are going to), then there is a high chance that you will be denied.


If I can’t come back what should I do?

Our recommendation, as well as Japan’s MHLW’s advice, is simple: stay home. Unless you have an extremely urgent matter, then stay home. Practice social distancing (be at least one meter away from the closest person) and make sure you wash your hands for at least twenty seconds (that’s singing the Happy Birthday song twice) before touching your face. Don’t go out unless extremely necessary. If you feel bored while staying home and practicing social distancing please remember that you are not just doing it for yourself. Elderly people and people with autoimmune diseases are much more vulnerable to the disease and it has a higher chance of being deadly towards them. Stay home and stay safe!



The information stated in this article are sourced on (taken April 4th, 2020):

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

https://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/files/100039479.pdf

https://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/info20_25.html

(Updated number of COVID-19 case taken on 7th April 2020):

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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