How to go out safely infographics, Tokyo city skyline, Tokyo Tower
Photo: Kazuend/Unsplash; Design: Zineb Bektachi

How to go out safely in Tokyo, plus social distancing rules explained

Everything you need to know about protecting yourself during Tokyo's third state of emergency

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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As of April 25, Tokyo has entered its third state of emergency with a fresh set of restrictions set to be in place until May 11. Most of the city’s major venues and attractions have been asked to close during this period, but department stores and shops are still open, albeit with reduced hours. Restaurants are also open, on the condition that they close by 8pm and refrain from serving alcohol at all.

Though many of us are hunkering down in Tokyo until coronavirus vaccines become available to the general public, there are some measures you can take to stay safe when going out for a jog or picking up a takeaway. Here’s how to protect yourself and others when going out in Tokyo. 

Please note, Tokyo is going through a transitional period where circumstances are shifting frequently. A lot of things are subject to change, but we aim to keep you updated with the coronavirus situation here in Tokyo through these live updates.

Keep your hands sanitised
Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Keep your hands sanitised

Keeping your hands clean is an essential part of staying protected from the virus. Most establishments will have bottles of hand sanitiser stationed at their entrances and some will even require you to disinfect your hands before entering. 

Wear a face mask when going out
Photo: Noah/Unsplash

Wear a face mask when going out

Slipping on a mask before leaving the house is more or less second nature now, but it's important to remember how to use them properly. Always clean your hands before and after applying a mask to your face. Replace your mask if it gets damp and never reuse a single-use mask after you’ve taken it off. Always make sure the mask is covering both your mouth and nose, otherwise it defeats the purpose of wearing one. 

Additional resources:
- How to make a DIY no-sew face mask
- How to wear a face mask without fogging up your glasses

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Stay two metres apart from others
Photo: Simon Launay/Unsplash

Stay two metres apart from others

In a city packed with as many people as Tokyo, maintaining a two-metre distance from others isn’t easy, but it’s an adjustment that’s worth making. Remember to respect the tape marks that designate how far apart to stand when in line at the supermarket or konbini.

Additional resource:
This iPhone tool helps you maintain proper social distancing

Be mindful of train congestion
Photo: Daryan Shamkhali/Unsplash

Be mindful of train congestion

Catching the train is the best way to get around in Tokyo, but it's tough to maintain a safe distance from other people when you're riding a packed carriage. Because of this, JR East has updated their official app to tell you how crowded the trains are. The app will provide real-time information with updates every five minutes and rank congestion on a scale of one to five. In the meantime, you can check out our guide on how to navigate Tokyo during rush hour to avoid the crowds. 

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Download the COCOA app
Photo: Mia Baker/Unsplash

Download the COCOA app

To help prevent the number of Covid-19 cases from rising in the country, the Japanese government has released a contact-tracing app that will notify users if they've been in close contact with someone that recently tested positive for the disease. The app will operate by exchanging encrypted codes between phones but will not reveal any personal information including names, addresses or phone numbers. 

Work from home
Photo: Lucija Ros/Unsplash

Work from home

Part of the Japanese government’s appeal for adopting a new lifestyle in response to coronavirus, working remotely will help further increasing the number of new infections. If your WFH routine has begun to feel a little stale, tidying expert Marie Kondo has a few pointers on how to re-set your routine and organise your home office for minimise stress and maximise productivity. If working from home is not an option, consider commuting at off-peak times and avoiding rush hour. 

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Be mindful of your mental health
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Be mindful of your mental health

Coping with isolation and stress triggered by the pandemic can feel overwhelming at times. If you need support or someone to talk to, you can reach out to any of these multilingual hotlines for counselling services. 

Stay protected and informed

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