Effects of COVID-19 Continuing to Affect Travel Between the U.S. and Japan

Hello, this is Stephanie of IMS. Two weeks ago on February 2, the Japanese government extended the state of emergency currently affecting Tokyo and nine other prefectures to March 7. Luckily, the number of daily cases seems to be declining, but until there are widespread vaccinations, it will take some time for things to return to normal. We’ve already passed the 1-year mark of COVID making its way to Japan, and many people are feeling exhaustion from the long fight. Please be sure to continue to take precautions in your daily life, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing. As a society, we have to remain vigilant.


Tests Required for Travel to the United States

Beginning January 26, 2021, all visitors going to the United States will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding the plane. U.S. citizens are also subject to this requirement. Any traveler who cannot show negative test results will not be allowed to board the plane. A list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found on the Embassy website, but this list is not comprehensive.


Travel Restrictions for Coming to Japan

On December 28, 2020, the Japanese government introduced strict regulations on most new entries into Japan. This means that Japanese embassies and consulates worldwide are not issuing new COEs to applicants. Those who already have a visa (i.e. Japanese residents) are allowed to enter the country, but there are specific entry restrictions for areas with the new COVID-19 variant. Visa free travel, and all travel for tourism, remains suspended. All travelers entering Japan also need to quarantine for 14 days and are prohibited from using public transportation. This includes domestic flights, taxis, and trains. Travelers will need to use their own personal vehicle or a hired car, etc., in order to get home from the airport.

※This restriction does not apply to travelers with an international layover in a Japanese airport, as long as the transfer occurs within the same airport and they do not leave.

For information on Japan’s updated travel restrictions, please see these websites:

(Information is subject to change without warning)