The whole world has been dealing with COVID-19 or Coronavirus, and none of us are safe when it comes to these kinds of disasters. Various travel advisories are being issued by different countries, and since Japan is becoming a high-risk country due to an increasing case of Coronavirus, is it safe to travel to Japan right now?
Coronavirus in Japan: Updates
As of 5 March 2020, the tallies collected by the Health Ministry of Japan and local government report that cases of Coronavirus in Japan has increased to 1036, and 706 of them are cases from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship currently docked at the Port of Yokohama. Among these numbers, twelve people have died and 6 of them are from the cruise ship. In fact, as the cases spread, Hokkaido declared a state of emergency. On a brighter note, data also shows that 229 patients have recovered and 181 of them are from the cruise ship. Moreover, it was also reported that 80% of Coronavirus victims did not spread the disease to others.
We would recall that Japan’s handling of the issue was called upon because of how it decided to quarantine the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. Given this, groups like non-profit organizations in Japan have been concerned about Japan’s approach to testing, saying Japan might have more cases than reported. The numbers we see in the news might only be a “tip of the iceberg”. The national government of Japan came under criticisms that it prioritizes other matters, like the preparations for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, rather than making the tests available to more Japanese citizens.
Travel Advisories From Specific Countries to Japan
If you are coming from the following countries, please consider the following travel advisories from your respective foreign departments/ministries regarding traveling to Japan amid the Coronavirus issue:
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: Australia
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM AUSTRALIA TO JAPAN AS OF DATE. However, the Australian Government advised to exercise precaution and “reconsider” plans to travel to Japan.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on Australia’s travel bans due to Coronavirus
- As of 5 March 2020: Japan has been deemed a high-risk country due to the increasing cases of coronavirus. Australians are advised to exercise caution. Smart Traveller has urged Australians to “reconsider their need to travel to restricted areas near the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant (Yahoo Finance Australia).
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: Canada
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM CANADA TO JAPAN AS OF DATE. However, the Canadian Government advised an exercise of high degree of caution to those traveling to Japan.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on Canada’s travel bans due to Coronavirus
- As of 2 March 2020, CTV News Network reported that the advisory from the Canadian government specifically called upon older Canadian citizens to consider postponing their trip to Japan, specifying the Hokkaido area.
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: Germany
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM GERMANY TO JAPAN AS OF DATE.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on Germany’s travel bans due to Coronavirus
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: Philippines
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM PHILIPPINES TO JAPAN AS OF DATE.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on Philippines’ travel bans due to Coronavirus
For more travel articles about the Philippines, click on the banner below:
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: Thailand
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM THAILAND TO JAPAN AS OF DATE. However, the Thai Government advised an exercise of caution to those traveling to Japan.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on Thailand’s travel bans due to Coronavirus
- As of 19 February 2020, The Bangkok Post reported that the Thai government alerted those who really cannot avoid traveling to Japan to protect themselves and be prepared for a screening when they fly back to Thailand. They also advised the Thai citizens to consider postponing their trips to Japan.
For more travel articles about Thailand, click on the banner below:
Coronavirus Travel Advisory: United States
- NO KNOWN TRAVEL BANS FROM THE UNITED STATES TO JAPAN AS OF DATE. However, the United States government raised Alert Level 2 for Japan and advised Americans to exercise “increased caution”.
- Here is the link to the OFFICIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATES on the United States’ travel bans due to Coronavirus
- As of 4 March 2020, Kyodo News has reported that President Donald Trump has been considering expanding the current travel restrictions of Americans to include Japan as the Coronavirus cases rise.
Is it safe to travel to Japan amid COVID-19?
As a frequent traveler, if I were to be asked, I believe it is best for everyone to avoid traveling internationally if we could, especially to countries with high cases of COVID-19, like Coronavirus in Japan. What we can do for now is to focus on getting healthier and avoid going to places with cases of Coronavirus. Japan will always remain that beautiful country we all have always been seeing, hence any time is the best time to visit Japan. Let’s just wait for the Coronavirus to be dealt with, specifically by Japan.
What will happen now to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Given the rise in cases of Coronavirus in Japan, the Intenational Olympuc Committee (IOC) has expressed its confidence with Japan in hosting hte upcoming sports event from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020. During the recent meetings, there were no issues raised related to the postponement of the Olympics. IOC’s confidence was based on the advice of health experts and the World Health Organization.
Given the length of time remaining to countdown for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I am seeing with optimism that Japan will be able to deal with the Coronavirus issue (so is the rest of the world) in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. So, there is nothing to be worried about!
Japan Travel Guides
In the meantime, while a lot of people around the world are advised to get stuck in their own countries because of the Coronavirus crisis, and some travelers to Japan and other highly-infected countries are restricted. Japan could wait in a better state, so can you! 🙂 Meanwhile, you can consider checking these write-ups I have about Japan for you to consider while planning your upcoming trips to the Land of the Rising Sun:
10 Instagram-Worthy Spots to Visit in Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama, Japan was the location of the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship which carried a lot of cases of Coronavirus in Japan. Perhaps after the Coronavirus in Japan issue, you may consider visiting this city. It is only an hour away from Metro Tokyo and it has a lot of nice destinations to see!
Japan Travel Vlog (Tokyo and Yokohama)
Want to get more inspired and excited to visit Japan? Watch this YouTube video featuring video clip compilations from my previous Tokyo and Yokohama trips! Btw, if you are a lover of anime OSTs, you will hear Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five in the background (my all-time favorite!).
Tokyo Bubble Tea: An Authentic Taste of Japanese Cuisine in Manila
Those who are based in the Philippines, we all know that we will never run out of Japanese restaurants all over the country (Filipinos just love Japanese food!), but if you haven’t tried Tokyo Bubble Tea, please give it a chance! Their restaurants play anime OST, in case it matters!
Coronavirus in Japan: My Takeaways
In difficult times like this, we are all expected to do our part in staying out of possible threats to our lives and well-being, that is why it is important for us to listen to the advisories of our respective governments in terms of travel advisories on Coronavirus. Nobody wants to end up a pain for our respective governments and end up as part of any Coronavirus-related statistics. So let’s all exercise caution. Japan will remain to be Japan and it awaits each and everyone of us to experience its unique beauty.
Stay safe, everyone!
For more travel articles about Japan, click on the banner below: