In a matter of hours, Japan will close its doors to visitors from the vast majority of the world, with no end date in sight. On April 3rd, 2020, Japan will bar entry to anyone who’s been in one of 70 countries within 14 days of their planned arrival in Japan, creating one of the most restrictive entry policies in the world. Here’s a list of every country excluded, and what this means for future trips…

70 Countries

Japan, as one of the first countries to experience a covid-19 outbreak, is keen not to experience a second wave, and is closing to visitors indefinitely until more is known. That’s right, until further notice, your Japan trip is on ice, and if its in the near term, you’re likely now ineligible to travel.

Official Japanese Tourism channels are promoting the new measures, which means anyone who’s been in one of 70 countries within 14 days of their planned arrival to Japan will be denied entry. The move takes effect April 3rd, 2020 at midnight, local time.

Asia Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam
Oceania Australia, New Zealand
North America Canada, United States
Latin America and 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

During this time, transit through Japan will be allowed.

If you are scheduled to fly through Japan with no plans of leaving the transit zone, you can still travel as planned, subject to other restrictions in your final destination.

This follows just days on the announcement of the 2020 Summer Olympics being moved to 2021. Residents coming from any of these areas will be subject to additional screening, 14 day self quarantine and are asked not to use public transit during this time.

Asia Is Closed

With the additional entry restrictions announced by Japan, Asia is now virtually entirely shut off from the rest of the world. China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and many other Asian nations set bans in place last week, but Japan was one of the last to create such sweeping measures.

Japan, perhaps in an effort to save its domestic airlines did not go as far as other countries, leaving transit open. As one of the world’s most popular countries this will be a crushing, but necessary blow to the country’s booming tourism sector.

Asian countries with similar bans in place are targeting reconsideration of travel policies in mid and late April, so with any hope, the worst will pass and Japan will re-open to travelers around the world again soon. When it’s safe, of course…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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3 Comments

  1. “ During this time, transit through Japan will be allowed. If you are scheduled to fly through Japan with no plans of leaving the transit zone, you can still travel as planned, subject to other restrictions in your final destination.”

    As a US citizen, if I do a UA SFO-NRT mileage run and stay in the transit area, what happens at my arrival in SFO?
    -Will SFO PD arrest me for a misdemeanor of traveling?
    -Will DHS or CBP red flag my profile?
    – Could I loose Global Entry?

    My partner and I have 160 PlusPoints expiring 30 April; UA won’t extend.
    $850 in W and no waitlist.

    1. Obviously for safety’s sake you shouldn’t do this, also your other questions are also concerns.

      But from a pure mileage run standpoint, it seems that UA mileage just doesn’t yield much in the way of PQPs. Just 850.
      If you had maybe premium economy in NH or SQ, then perhaps.

      Also the polaris J experience at this time probably leaves much to be desired.

  2. @Pete.
    No safety with the hordes shopping at Costco; let alone people handling produce at grocery stores. Or the hypochondriacs wearing masks and gloves while shopping and in their cars and handling them to increase exposure.

    I need BIS UA as I’m 100k from 3MM/1K for life.
    Already at 15PQP and 40 PQFs for 2020 due to flights in Jan and Feb.

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