Photo: Justin Lim/Unsplash
Photo: Justin Lim/UnsplashAn undated photo of Haneda Airport

Explained: Japan’s four different quarantine rules upon re-entry

Depending on which country you arrive from, different levels of quarantine apply. Here are the key details

By Dina Kartit
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[June 4 update] There’s now a new quarantine measure of spending the first six days at a government-designated facility. New areas have also been added to the existing quarantine categories. See the updates in bold.

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Since January 2021, Japan has temporarily strengthened its border measures for arrivals after coronavirus variants were detected in the country. For now, only citizens and residents with valid documents can re-enter the country – the government has stopped issuing most types of visas, meaning tourists are effectively banned. 

Those who are allowed to re-enter Japan must submit proof of a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before their departure for Japan. Then, they must self-isolate for 14 days after entering the country, while reporting their location and health status daily. They must also refrain from using public transport, even when leaving the airport (here are the available options).

However, the rules for 14-day quarantine change frequently, so it's easy to get confused. This overview is a quick reference to help work out which of the three different quarantine measures applies to you. 

Quarantine measure 1: First ten days in a government-designated facility

Who does it apply to? 

Japanese citizens and permanent residents who have been in any of the following countries in the past 14 days: Afghanistan (latest addition to the list; new rules effective June 3), India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Maldives or Sri Lanka. 

Note that foreign residents of Japan who do not have permanent residence status and have been in any of the countries above in the past 14 days are currently banned from re-entering Japan.

What are the rules?

  • After re-entering Japan, you must stay for ten days at a government-designated quarantine facility (typically a hotel) 
  • You must take a coronavirus PCR test upon arrival, as well as on the third, sixth and tenth days in quarantine
  • If the tests are negative, you can continue the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period in self-isolation at home 

Quarantine measure 2: First six days in a government-designated facility

Who does it apply to? 

Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with a valid re-entry permit and residence status who have been in any of the following countries or regions in the past 14 days: Vietnam, Malaysia or United Kingdom (latest addition to the list; new rules effective June 7).

What are the rules?

  • After re-entering Japan, you must stay for six days at a government-designated quarantine facility (usually a hotel)
  • You must take a coronavirus PCR test upon arrival, and again on the third and sixth days in quarantine 
  • If tested negative, you can then serve the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period in self-isolation at home

Quarantine measure 3: First three days in a government-designated facility

Who does it apply to? 

Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with a valid re-entry permit and residence status who have been in any of the following countries or regions in the past 14 days:

Austria, Belgium, Brazil, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Ontario province in Canada, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, or the following states in the US: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, New York, Nevada, Nebraska, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

From June 4, Israel and Slovakia will no longer be subjected to this particular quarantine measure, but must still self-isolate at home for 14 days.

What are the rules?

  • After re-entering Japan, you must stay for three days at a government-designated quarantine facility (usually a hotel)
  • You must take a coronavirus PCR test on the day of arrival and the third day in quarantine 
  • If the tests are negative, you can then serve the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period in self-isolation at home

Quarantine measure 4: Self-isolation at home for the entire 14 days

Who does it apply to?

Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with a valid re-entry permit and residence status who have not been in any of the countries mentioned above in the past 14 days.

What are the rules?  

  • You must take a Covid-19 test upon arrival. If the result is negative, you must self-isolate at home for a 14-day period

For more information, consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

This article was published on May 28 and updated on June 4.

Coming back into Japan? Read our first-person account on what it’s like to return to Japan and quarantine under Covid-19 re-entry rules.

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