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04 May 2020 | 11:42 AM UTC

Japan: Prime Minister extends state of emergency until May 31 /update 23

Japan News Alert

Prime Minister extends state of emergency until May 31; contact your airline for more information

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/4/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Tokyo). COUNTRY/REGION Japan

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On Monday, May 4, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the extension of the current state of emergency until Monday, May 31, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The state of emergency, previously scheduled to end on Wednesday, May 6, does not include a lockdown, but gives prefecture governments the power to request that residents remain at home unless they are buying food or seeking medical assistance. Abe also stated that a fresh assessment wold be conducted around Thursday, May 14, to determine whether the state of emergency or some social distancing measures could be relaxed in certain areas. The 2020 Olympics, originally set to take place in Tokyo, have also been pushed back to 2021 due to concerns about the virus.

The Japanese government announced on Monday, April 27, that it extended an entry ban on foreign nationals to include an additional 14 countries. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Djibouti, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, and Barbados are included in the latest entry ban. The updated list will cover a total of 87 countries, and can be found here. Foreign travelers who have been to these areas in the preceding 14 days will be prohibited from entering Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also advised its citizens against non-essential travel abroad, particularly to the countries mentioned in the latest measures.

As of May 4, authorities have confirmed 15,913 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 542 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures: 

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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