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Coronavirus (COVID-19): An update for our clients

We understand there may be concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We would like to take this opportunity to update our clients on the situation in Japan.

Our team in Dublin, London & Tokyo are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure our clients are not at physical or financial risk.

Our number one priority is the safety of our clients in Japan.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – The Facts:

The newest Coronavirus (COVID-19) first appeared in Hubei, China in December and began spreading throughout China.

The WHO declared the outbreak a Global Emergency on January 31st; the reason for doing so being that cases of the virus had materialized in countries other than China, and also to access funding to ‘allow the WHO to support lower- and middle-income countries to strengthen their disease surveillance – and prepare them for cases.’(BBC News, 31 January 20)

The WHO are reporting the situation daily on their website. You can access WHO situation reports here.

What’s going on with COVID-19 in Japan at the moment?

The current situation is that travel to Japan is largely unaffected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

View the WHO’s most recent Situation Report (15 February 2020)

The general guidelines are to keep on top of general hygiene; wash your hands more regularly, sneeze responsibly, and carry hand-sanitizer for quick and easy sanitation on the go.

The number of person-to-person transmissions of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan is currently at a lower rate than that of some countries in Europe as well as in the UK. Most of the cases in Japan can be directly linked to travel to China. Japan has so far been doing well at containing any instances of the virus that have materialized.

Extra precautions are being taken throughout all international airports, and Japan itself has asked the following people associated with affected areas not to travel to Japan to prevent an outbreak:

  • Foreign nationals who have been to Hubei province in the People’s Republic of China within 14 days prior to arrival
  • Foreign nationals who have a Chinese passport issued by Hubei province in the People’s Republic of China.

At the moment, the guidelines from our client’s governing authorities are to avoid non-essential travel to China, with no restrictions advised regarding travel to Japan.

Should I travel to Japan?

It is important that people who wish to travel to Japan are not swayed by moral panic and continue to be objective in their decision making.

As mentioned, we are continually monitoring the situation and will be following all official travel advice from the authorities in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA. See links to each involved authority:

Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

US Embassy & Consulates in Japan

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

We will keep our clients updated on the situation in anticipation of their trip.

What if the authorities advise not to travel to Japan?

If any of the above governing authorities advise not to travel to Japan, we will certainly be encouraging the same.

You will be given the option to postpone your trip to travel within this year or next year. We will also allow a more flexible terms and conditions policy, decided on a case by case basis.

We are now negotiating with all suppliers locally to ensure that our clients are not being put at financial risk.

Further information & resources:

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call for tourist information or assistance in the case of accidents and emergencies. Support is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese: https://www.japan.travel/en/plan/hotline/ 

View the WHO’s most recent Situation Report (18 February 2020)