I can’t speak for everyone but the current situation makes me appreciate travel more than ever. And since you’re subscribed to a travel blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you too are thinking back on fond travel memories.
There are a lot of beautiful places on this earth but the truth is that there are very few places that I enjoy visiting more than once – Japan is one of those exceptions.
The country is amazing and as soon as it’s “safe” to travel, Japan is near the top of my list for places I want to return to… if they’ll let me in.
Japan Bans Visitors From Several Countries
Yesterday, I wrote about my flight to Japan and how empty the planes were. Well, for anyone that is planning to travel to Japan, you may want to pencil in “Japan Trip – TBD” in your calendar, as Japan is banning foreigners who have been in any of 70+ countries during the past 14 days.
The new policy begins for arrivals on April 3 at midnight. In other words, even if you departed today, you wouldn’t make it in time. Unfortunately, there also doesn’t appear to be an end date to this ban either.
So, here are the restricted regions per the Government of Japan:
- Asia: Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
- North America: Canada, United States
- Latin America & the Caribbean: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama
- Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican
- Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Turkey
- Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco
The memo goes on to say that Japanese nationals arriving in Japan from one of the restricted countries will be subjected to additional screening on arrival and will have Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests conducted – the test used to determine if you have COVID-19.
Until recently, Japan seemed successful in fighting the pandemic. It faced far fewer COVID-19 cases than, say, nearby China. And although they had early success and a low number of cases, it appears that Japan’s caseload is now up to 2,200, and officials say the number is still rising so something has to be done.
Just to be clear, this is not about your nationality, but rather about having been to one of the countries in question in the past two weeks.
As I said yesterday, we’ve already seen huge reductions in flights between the US and Japan, and I imagine capacity will be limited even more at this point.
What do think about Japan’s decision to ban so many countries (including the US)? Did you have plans to visit Japan?