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Travel Advice, UK – Japan
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page is a snapshot of the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel to Japan.
The authorities in Japan set and enforce entry rules. For further information you are advised to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. Before making travel arrangements you should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet the necessary requirements.
Entry to Japan
The re-entry into Japan of foreign nationals with status of residence who have stayed in these countries within 14 days prior to the application for landing will be denied, unless there are special exceptional circumstances.
Foreign nationals who wish to enter Japan for work or study but do not have existing resident status and who have visited the UK or this list of countries in the past 14 days are currently not permitted to enter until further notice, other than in exceptional circumstances. This guidance also applies to foreign nationals in possession of visas issued under the previous individual and Global Residence Tracks.
Other entry to Japan on a short-term basis, such as for business, tourism or to visit family, continues to be denied other than in exceptional circumstances. Business Tracks with all countries/regions have also been suspended until further notice. Japan has also introduced caps on the numbers of people able to arrive by plane, and bookings on some routes have therefore been suspended. Check with your airline.
Further details are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, or via Japan’s Visa Information Hotline on +44 (0)800 041 8412. Alternatively, contact your nearest Japanese Embassy for more information, including if you believe you qualify for exceptional circumstances.
Under the Quarantine Act, all those entering Japan currently need to provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result conducted within the 72 hours before their flight departure time. Details of the format are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
Re-entry to Japan
British nationals with Status of Residence in Japan and who leave or have left Japan with a valid re-entry permit are allowed to re-enter Japan. However, you will need to follow appropriate arrival and quarantine rules as set out below, and provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the 72 hours before your flight departure time. You should check the Japanese government’s advice on this re-entry process on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Japan has also introduced caps on the number of people able to arrive by plane, and bookings on some routes have therefore been suspended. You should check with your airline if unsure.
Those who do not have a valid re-entry permit will in principle be denied re-entry; please consult the Japanese authorities for advice.
Japan has suspended its visa waiver system for anyone travelling on a British Citizen or British National (Overseas) passport with no indication of when this suspension will be lifted. Japan has also suspended single and multiple entry visas issued by Japanese Embassies and Consulates General in the UK (and many other countries) prior to 20 March 2020 ; the full list can be found on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Anyone arriving in Japan without a valid visa will not be able to enter.
Testing/screening on arrival
All passengers arriving in Japan are required to complete a health questionnaire before disembarkation, including contact details. They are then required to undergo a COVID-19 test at the airport. You will be asked to wait for the test results at the airport before moving to your accommodation.
From 14 August, travellers arriving from the UK are requested to spend 3 days (a change from 6) in self-isolation at a government-provided hotel, with further COVID-19 tests on the third day (The date of arrival counts as Day 0.) Children over the age of 12 will be asked to quarantine without a guardian – the Japanese authorities may offer some flexibility on this point, but this is not guaranteed. If the tests are negative, travellers will be allowed to continue 14 days’ self-isolation as set out below. Travellers coming from various other countries must also undertake between 3 and 10 days of self-isolation at a government-provided facility, with COVID-19 tests at designated intervals. Further details can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website (see ‘Note 1’ under part 2 of sub-heading ‘3. Quarantine Measures’).
All passengers arriving in Japan from this list of countries, as well as those countries which were part of individual Business and Residence Tracks until last Autumn, are required to sign a pledge confirming that they will self-isolate for 14 days on arrival at a designated location (such as a hotel or their own home). This pledge will also ask individuals to refrain from using public transport; install Japan’s COVID-19 tracing app; maintain location data for 14 days via their smartphone mapping application; and agree to disclose location data if requested by the quarantine authority. Failure to comply with these requests could lead to an individual being subject to detention under the Quarantine Act. It could also lead to their name and relevant information related to reducing the spread of infection being released; and for foreign nationals, possible revocation of their status of residence and subsequent deportation. If someone does not wish to sign this pledge, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days at a place designated by the quarantine authority. These measures will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
More details on Japan’s current quarantine rules are available here. New measures may also be brought in at short notice for travel from other countries.
The measures listed above do not apply to passengers who are transiting through one Japanese airport and do not go through immigration. If you are transiting using different airports you will need a transit permit on arrival.
To get one you will be required to demonstrate that you have not come from a country on the banned list, that you have timely onward travel plans, and that you will not use public transport to move between airports; this includes taxis.
You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities. You should also check the latest entry requirements for your destination.
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