Updated 27th February, 15:00
The news is actively covering reports of the Coronavirus (now named COVID-19), which was first reported from China.
As of today, there have been 186 confirmed cases in Japan. Many of these cases involve travellers who have been to China, or those who have been in close proximity with them. The virus is not limited to these travellers, but risk of transmission is low. Those with a confirmed diagnosis are isolated and undergoing medical care.
How will this affect my travel in Japan?
At the present time, travel to Japan from the UK is not significantly affected.
Within Japan, sanitary standards are high but people are exercising even more caution than normal. The wearing of surgical-style face-masks is an established habit in the country, when people have colds and wish to avoid others catching it. Although such masks are not particularly effective and are not recommended by medical authorities, they are widely worn in Japan currently, and many shops have sold out.
Enhanced quarantine and health check procedures are being carried out at entry points to Japan such as airports and ports. You may be asked to undergo additional screening by authorities when you arrive.
When travelling in Japan currently, apply the same sanitary precautions and care as you would for avoiding any kind of infection.
- Take hand sanitiser gel in your luggage, and wash hands frequently (as you would do at home if there is a risk of influenza etc.)
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available
- Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid handling animals, don’t visit animal markets and avoid uncooked meat
We are monitoring government and media sources for information about the virus (see links below).
There is no “Travel Advisory” statement from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against travel from the UK to Japan. This means that for those wishing to cancel their trip to Japan at the present time, such a decision is considered voluntary and the normal cancellation conditions apply. Neither has Japan’s Ministry of Health issued any limitation of incoming visitors except the following.
Travellers who have been to Hubei or Zhejiang provinces in the People’s Republic of China or have Chinese passports issued by these areas are not permitted to enter Japan. In addition, travellers who have visited Daegu City or Cheongdo Country in north Gyeongsang Province in the Republic of Korea within 14 days of arrival in Japan are not permitted to enter the country.
The World Health Organization: advice
The World Health Organization: current situation worldwide
The recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Japan Information
Japan National Tourism Organisation
If you have any questions concerning the virus and the travel arrangements you have booked with us, please contact us.