News Alerts

19 Jun 2020 | 08:23 AM UTC

Japan: Authorities lift domestic travel restrictions June 19 /update 30

Japan News Alert

Authorities lift domestic travel restrictions on June 19; heed official instructions

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Tokyo). COUNTRY/REGION Japan

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Event

The Japanese government lifted domestic travel restrictions which were introduced due to the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) pandemic on Friday, June 19. Authorities rescinded an advisory instructing members of the public to avoid leaving infected prefectures and encouraged the public to attend events with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. Gatherings of up to 1000 people for outdoor and indoor events are now permitted, and baseball games will resume without spectators from Friday. Both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines announced on Thursday, July 18, that they would increase domestic flights in July based on demand; however, these will operate on a reduced schedule. The Japanese government announced that negotiations are ongoing with the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam to ease some travel restrictions with regards to transfers and visits by technical and business personnel.

As of Wednesday, May 27, the Japanese government banned entry for travelers arriving from another 11 countries. The countries to be included in the entry ban are India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador, Argentina, South Africa, Ghana, and Guinea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that border control measures will remain in place until the end of June, without giving further details.

Japanese authorities previously announced a ban on foreign nationals from multiple countries, which can be found here. Foreign travelers who have been to these territories in the preceding 14 days will be prohibited from entering Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also advised its citizens against nonessential travel abroad, particularly to the countries mentioned in the latest measures.

As of Friday, June 19, authorities have confirmed 17,588 cases of COVID-19 and 935 associated deaths in Japan. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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