The new coronavirus, which has become a global epidemic in 2020.
Infection continues to spread, and there is no prospect at all.
People planning to travel for the holiday season and those who have already made reservations are often worried about whether they can go on a trip, whether domestic travel is okay, and what happens when they cancel the trip.
I summaried the current situation and countermeasures for those who are thinking to travel Japan and for those who live in Japan.
Expansion of new coronavirus infection! Precautions when traveling
Infection with the new coronavirus is spreading from East Asia to the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa, and other parts of the world.
Japan’s Infection information for countries and regions can be checked on the “Infectious Diseases Risk Information” in the “Overseas Safety Information” section of the MOFA’s Overseas Safety Website.
The degree of risk, which serves as a guideline for judging travel, is divided into levels 1 to 4.
In mainland China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, which are particularly prevalent, some regions are at Level 3 as of March 10, 2020 (Recommendation to stop traveling).
Travel to the region must be discontinued for any reason.
If you have already made an appointment for a trip and are hesitant, please check the information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Overseas Safety Website as one of your decision-making materials.
For those who are from outside of Japan, please check below.
Some countries are restricting the entry of people traveling from areas where they are infected with the new coronavirus.
If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not provide information on dangers on its website, it may not be able to enter the country and return to Japan, or it may be able to isolate the country for a certain period of time or restrict the person from leaving the country even if he or she enters the country.
In some countries, visas are suspended for Japanese travelers and Japanese nationals, and visas issued prior to entry are invalidated.
There is also the possibility that restrictions are invoked at you arrive, even though there are no immigration restrictions before departure.
Because the information changes from moment to moment, consider that there is no guarantee that travelers will be able to enter the country without fail.
Be sure to check the latest information on official websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Is domestic travel in Japan is OK?
Pandemic coronavirus has been confirmed in many prefectures.
Check the latest information on official websites of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and local governments.
Due to the decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan, there are relatively few tourist destinations, theme parks, inns, hotels, etc., but there are also a series of closures of facilities and cancellations of events.
Even in areas where travelers are less infected, using public transportation can result in transmission during transportation.
If you live in an infected area, you may not be aware of the infection and travel.
Determine whether or not to take a trip comprehensively by looking at the situation at the time.
What is the handling of travel products with the new coronavirus?
For those who have already booked a trip, the cancellation fee for stopping the trip is worrisome.
Even if an airline decides to cancel a travel reservation because of the new coronavirus, there are enough cases in which it is necessary to pay the cancellation fee if it is within the period in which it is charged.
If the route is suspended or reduced due to the spread of infection, or if there are restrictions such as suspension of visa issuance to foreign nationals entering Japan, the route may be cancelled or changed without a cancellation fee.
In addition, even if the flight is in operation, the airline may decide to waive the cancellation fee by increasing the risk level.
However, because of the unprecedented situation this time, the decision of each airline is divided and the decision changes every day.
If you are considering canceling or changing, ask and consult with the airline or the travel agency you booked and follow the instructions.
Package tours may also be cancelled at the travel agency’s discretion without a cancellation fee.
As of March 10, 2020, many Japanese travel agencies have restricted their activities to certain areas, such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy and India, and have discontinued package tours for a certain period of time.
It should be the same for those who are coming from outside of Japan.
In principle, the cancellation fee will be charged if you apply to travel to another country or region where the tour is being held.
The response will vary depending on the infection situation, so please check with the website of the travel agency you applied for or contact you directly.
Japan’s airline tickets such as ANA, JAL, Skymark, Peach, Air Du, Solaside Air, and Star Flyer can be cancelled without cancellation for a certain period of time.
Accordingly, cancellation fees are also exempted for some package tours.
Please refer to the official sites of each company for the date of boarding, tour products, and cancellation methods.
Call centers at each company are becoming difficult to connect due to congestion.
“cancellation insurance” that help you
When you apply for a trip, remember the cancellation insurance.
This insurance covers cancellation charges for employees who are unable to travel due to sudden injury or illness, suspension or delay in transportation, etc.
Be sure to read the conditions carefully for the coverage.
Aiming for an early end to the new coronavirus
If you are traveling or not, you can make your own judgment, but if you are traveling, it is important to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information.
Be careful not to travel to areas with a large number of infected people, and observe the preventive measures announced on the official website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
I hope that the new coronavirus will be terminated early and that everyday travel to anywhere you like will return quickly.
Information as of March 10, 2020.
Confirm the latest information on the official website.