Travel

May 13, 2021 Update:
> New denial of the re-entry from India, Pakistan and Nepal for anyone departing these countries on or after 0:00am (JST) on May 14, 2021.
> New enforced quarantine measures for all travelers who enter, re-enter or return to Japan from the countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern and countries/regions whose authorities have announced the confirmation of domestic infection of new variant of coronavirus.
> Reminder to use the designated format of COVID test certificate as provided by the Quarantine Station: https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page25e_000334.html

April 13, 2021 Update:
> The Written Pledge (individual) - which you need to submit at the Japanese airport - has been updated.
> The apps - which you are mandated to download on your phone when you enter Japan - have changed.
Current Border and Quarantine Measures: updated on May 13, 2021.

The following measures, which were decided to be implemented until the cancellation of state of emergency, shall continue for the time being.
- Suspension of the scheme for allowing New entry (called Residence Track and Business Track) until further notice even though the State of Emergency is lifted.
- Suspension of new entry from all countries and regions.
- Suspension of special treatment for Japanese nationals returning from short-term business travel to all countries.
MoFA Documentation
MHLW Documentation (Japanese only)

[NEW] Denial of the re-entry from India, Pakistan and Nepal
The re-entry into Japan of foreign nationals with status of residence who have stayed in India, Pakistan and Nepal within 14 days prior to the application for landing will be denied for the time being unless there are special exceptional circumstances. The foregoing measure will be implemented from 0:00am (JST) on May 14, 2021.
> (Note 1) Foreign nationals with the status of residence of “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of a Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of a Permanent Resident” or “Long Term Resident”, who have departed Japan with Re-entry Permission by May 13 with intent to re-entry into Japan from those three countries, are treated as persons in special exceptional circumstances. This, however, is not applicable to foreign nationals who depart Japan on or after May 14. Foreign nationals with the status "Special Permanent Resident" are not within the scope of this entry ban.
> (Note 2) The forgoing measures won’t be applied to those who will depart those three countries before 0:00am (JST) on May 14, 2021 and arrive in Japan after this time. 
> According to the above measure, when foreign nationals, who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit before August 31, 2020 and who were not permitted to re-enter Japan because the validity period of the re-entry permission expired after the country/regions of stay was designated an area subject to denial of landing, have already obtained a visa based on the newly issued Certificate of Eligibility(COE), they will be subject to denial of landing for the time being if they have stayed in India, Pakistan and Nepal within 14 days prior to the application for landing.
> https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=https://www.anzen.mofa.go.jp/info/pcwideareaspecificinfo_2021C076.html (EN)

[NEW] Enforced quarantine measures are now in place for all travelers who enter, re-enter or return to Japan from the countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern and countries/regions whose authorities have announced the confirmation of domestic infection of new variant of coronavirus (Except for India, Pakistan and Nepal).
> Countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern in addition to the quarantine measures mentioned on the website of the MoFA, all Japanese nationals and foreign nationals with status of residence are requested to stay for 3 days at specific facilities designated by the chief of the quarantine station (limited to the accommodation facilities by the chief of the quarantine station) until further notice. On the third day, they are required to take the COVID-19 test again. Those who have negative result in this test leave the facility and are required to self-quarantine at home during the remaining period of 14 days after entering Japan.
*You can check the listed countries from the link below. 
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=ja&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anzen.mofa.go.jp%2Finfo%2Fpcwideareaspecificinfo_2021C070.html (EN)

[REMINDER] Please make sure you use the COVID Test Certificate format designated by Quarantine Station
> You can download it from following link: https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page25e_000334.html
> Some travelers are denied entry into Japan because their test certificate was not the same format as the one shown in the link and did not contain the necessary information.

Current Information from the Government of Japan

While the travel advice “Avoid All Travel” has already been issued for level 3 countries/regions, short-term visits to countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern, particularly by those with the intention of returning to Japan, is strongly requested to be avoided.

MOFA: New measures for border enforcement (9) [Automatic English Translation]

The following applies only to Japanese Nationals or those who have a Special Re-Entry Permit (for return to Japan within one year) or a Re-Entry Permit (for return to Japan after more than one year abroad), beginning on March 18, 2021

  • Those who do not have an approved certificate of negative test result issued within the 72 hours prior to departure will be denied entry into Japan. Airlines refuse to board those without one.
  • The installation of video calling and location-based apps and the authenticity of your contact information on the “Written Pledge” will be checked upon your arrival to the restricted area of the airport.
  • All cross-border travelers are requested to specify the means transportation they will use in Japan (reserved train, private car, etc.) in their “Written Pledge”, which will be submitted to the Quarantine Station.
  • “Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants” conducts monitoring for all cross-border travelers for 14 days after they enter Japan to confirm their location data (every day), to check their condition using video calls (every day), and to conduct visits in case contact is lost for more than 3 days.
    • Note: Theses monitoring requirements will now be more strongly reinforced, and they will now apply to more than just travelers from countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern.
  • Real-time RT-PCR tests will be conducted, instead of the quantitative antigen test, for travelers from countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern after staying for 3 days at a facility designated by the Chief of the Quarantine Station. 
  • To ensure appropriate implementation of quarantine measures, the number of passengers on an aircraft arriving in Japan, including those from countries/regions with community transmission of coronavirus variants of concern, will be restricted, and the total number of foreign arrivals will be controlled.

Necessary apps that must be installed on your smartphone before entering Japan.

  • OEL (Location information-confirming app)
    • To report your location information to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Wealth (MHLW).
  • Skype or WhatsApp
    • To confirm your current location by answering video calls made by a staff of HCO (Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants).
  • COCOA
    • You will need to download and activate this app after entering Japan.
  • Google Maps
    • You will need to activate location storing system after entering Japan.

Explanation of the apps: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000753114.pdf (English)
How to use the apps: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000755137.pdf (English)

You must also submit this questionnaire and receive your associated QR code before your flight to Japan.

Link: https://arqs-qa.followup.mhlw.go.jp/#/

You can select your language at the top of the page. After submitting the questionnare, you will receive a QR code. You must take a screenshot or make a photocopy of it so you can show or submit it to the immigration officer.

To get more information, visit the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

MOFA: New measures for border enforcement (9) [Automatic English Translation]

You apply for a Special Re-Entry Permit at the airport immigration office when you depart from Japan. Please note the Special Re-Entry Permit is valid for just one year from the departure date, and you must come back to Japan within one year.

If you leave Japan for more than one year, you need to apply for a Re-Entry Permit at your local immigration office, not at the airport.

If your Residence Card expires before the expiry date of your Re-entry permit, you must come back to renew it.

Please view the Immigration Service Agency of Japan's website for more information: https://www.isa.go.jp/en/applications/guide/kanri_qa.html

 

Japanese Border Enforcement Measures to Prevent the Spread of Novel Coronavirus
General Information on the Novel Coronavirus Disease in Japan

OIST Guidelines

Business

Travel must be approved by your manager. A PCR testing series is not currently required, but you may request it.

Personal

You are free to travel within Okinawa. Please be aware that some remote islands in the Okinawa prefecture with vulnerable medical systems continue to practice caution regarding visitors, so please take thorough health precautions and check the webpage of the municipality of your destination to inform your decision to travel or not. A PCR testing series is not currently required, but you may request it.

Business

Travel must be approved by your manager. If you are travelling to a prefecture under a State of Emergency, your division head must also approve. A PCR testing series is required upon your return, and you must wait until your first negative result before returning to OIST. If you are a regular full-time staff member and are able to work from home, you may do so while waiting for your first test result.

Personal

You are free to travel within Japan. Please take all preventative precautions during your travel. A PCR testing series is not currently required for personal travel, but is recommended. If you are a regular full-time staff member and are able to work from home, you may do so while waiting for your first test result.

Business

We do not currently support international business travel as a general rule. If you are taking approved international business travel, the working days of your 2-week quarantine period upon your return to Japan will be recorded as “business trip” in HEART.

Should the border restrictions in Japan change, we will update this page accordingly.

For information about international travel for new hires, please contact the Relocation Team.

Personal

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the novel coronavirus and associated Japanese border enforcement measures, personal international travel must be taken at your own risk. If you are not a Japanese citizen, your ability to re-enter Japan upon your scheduled return flight is not guaranteed. In addition, all testing, documentation, and quarantine expenses required for this travel are your sole responsibility. For more information about the current re-entry requirements for Japanese and foreign national, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.

OIST does allow 10 days of special leave for use during your quarantine period at your point of entry into Japan. If you are a regular full-time employee who is able to work during this period, you may do so.

Once you return to Okinawa, an additional PCR testing series is not currently required for personal travel, but is recommended. If you are a regular full-time staff member and are able to work from home, you may do so while waiting for your first test result.

If any member of your shared household returns from travel, OIST colleagues can take the PCR Test series on days 4, 6 and 10 after their household member returns, coming on campus from day 1. If any household member develops any symptoms related to COVID-19, the whole household should quarantine and the OIST member of staff should contact the Health Center.

We cannot issue a medical certificate because OIST special PCR test is not a clinical examination. Also, only the certificates issued by the registered medical institutions may be accepted depending on your destination. To find a medical institution in which you can take PCR test and receive a negative certificate, please check the webpage TeCOT (COVID-19 Testing Center for Overseas Travelers) promoted by the Japanese government. For example, the two international airports around Tokyo (Narita and Haneda) have the registered facilities in their terminals. Please contact us 10 days (at latest) prior to your departure if you need our assistance to set up an appointment.

For the latest update on this information, please visit the Health Guidance Page

Please go to the PCR Testing website for more information and to register for your test.

If you are waiting for your first OIST PCR test result, please do not send your child to the CDC.

For personal travel, we ask one parent to get a PCR test before bringing their child back to the CDC after travel outside Okinawa.

 

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