Haneda airport
Photo: 源五郎さん/Photo-AC

Japan restricts entry for travellers from the UK due to new Covid-19 strain

The new rules come into effect on December 24, but Japanese citizens and foreign residents can still re-enter Japan

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner

According to NHK, the Japanese government has decided to temporarily ban new entry for non-Japanese citizens travelling from the United Kingdom due to the spread of a new strain of Covid-19. These new restrictions will come into effect on Thursday December 24 2020. However, The Japan Times reports that any foreign-born residents of Japan travelling from the UK will still be allowed to re-enter Japan, provided they have a valid re-entry permit.

Japanese citizens, as well as long-term foreign residents in Japan, are still allowed to go on short business trips (a maximum of seven days) to the UK, but will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Japan.

The NHK report goes on to say that from December 27, everyone entering Japan from the UK will have to take a Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before leaving the UK and submit a certificate at the Japanese border confirming a negative test result. This includes Japanese citizens, who have so far been exempt from needing to present a negative Covid-19 test result upon returning to Japan.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, those who can’t submit a test result are requested to quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility specified by the government quarantine station. Returnees will also be asked to download Japan’s Covid-19 contact tracing app and register their location.

Nevertheless, the government encourages people to refrain from travelling to the UK at the moment.

This is a developing story. This blog will be updated as soon as new information is available.

For more information on the current coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan, see here.

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