Information about COVID-19 for Swiss citizens in Japan and travelers to Japan or Switzerland

Local news, 06.11.2020

Please follow the recommendations of the local Japanese and Swiss authorities. Links available below.

Important Information about COVID-19 ©Embassy of Switzerland in Japan
Important Information about COVID-19 ©Embassy of Switzerland in Japan Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

The spread of the virus COVID-19 in Japan, in Switzerland and in the world has created an unusual situation which continues to impacts our daily life.

The Embassy has been following recent developments closely, in particular the information and recommendations provided by the competent authorities in Japan and in Switzerland.

For the Swiss citizens in Japan the following elements should be taken into consideration:

  • Local Japanese authorities are competent in regard to health and public safety. Please make sure to follow their instructions carefully.
  • Under the Swiss Abroad Act, every individual shall exercise personal responsibility when planning or undertaking a stay abroad or when working abroad. The traveler decides on the preparation and implementation of a trip on his/her own responsibility.
  • Neither the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA nor this Embassy have the medical expertise to advise on health related questions. It is therefore suggested to consult specialized websites and your doctor or an institute for travel medicine.
  • Japanes authorities have introduced important measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Please make sure to gather the proper information about how they might affect your stay before you start your journey.
  • The Japanese government is implementing the following restrictions for entry into Japan for many countries including Switzerland: Non-Japanese nationals who have been in specifically designated countries or regions in the past 14 days are denied entry to Japan, unless the circumstances are exceptional. Foreigners with the status of “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” or “Long Term Resident”, who have departed Japan with Re-entry Permission, are treated, in principle, as persons in special circumstances. Please contact an Embassy of Japan or the Immigration authorities of Japan for further information and clarification of the exact procedure: Link. You may find information on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Justice: LINK 1. In addition, the European Business Council has published a note explaining the procedure: LINK 2.
  • Since November 1st, the Japanese government has relaxed the 14-day quarantine at home for non-Japanese nationals with the status of residence who travel abroad and come back to Japan for business purpose, under several conditions. These conditions include, among several others: refraining from using public transport and keeping location data for 14 days, getting the sponsorship of a company / institution, and limiting the time abroad to 7 days. Details are available on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare: LINK. Please consult the local Japanese authorities to make sure you have the latest information.
  • In many cases worldwide, border restrictions, travel bans, quarantines and flights cancellations are applied. Make sure you have real time updates at the time of travel and be aware that unforeseen changes may happen during your journey.

For the Swiss travelers to Japan the following additional elements should be taken into consideration:

  • Since March 21, validity of all single and multiple entry visas into Japan, which were issued by March 20 at the Embassies or Consulate Generals of Japan in European countries including Switzerland, have been suspended. Application of visa waivers given based on visa waiver agreements with those countries is suspended. 
  • On September 25, the Government of Japan announced that “in principle, the holders of statuses of residence of “Student”, “Dependent” and others, in addition to cross-border business travelers of all countries and regions will be incrementally permitted to enter Japan from October 1, 2020, under the condition that the person is hosted by a company/ entity that can assure observation of quarantine measures”. The details of these guidelines for long-term residence visas as well as the related visa application process are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
    Please note that short-term visits to Japan by non-Japanese citizens coming from Switzerland for tourism, business and other purposes are still impossible.
  • The Japanese authorities announced that the visa issuing process could take some time.

For travelers to Switzerland the following elements should be taken into consideration:

  • For direct entry into Switzerland from the following Schengen states, as well as EU/European small states and other third countries (including Japan), the usual entry requirements do apply to all nationals. List as of 20 July 2020 - EU & European Small States & other third countries - State Secretariat for Migration SEM.
  • All other countries are still on the list of risk countries of the SEM. Entry restrictions continue to apply for entry from these states. The list will be adjusted as necessary. We therefore recommend that you consult the website of the SEM regularly for further information. 
  • The Swiss Compensation Office (SCO) in Geneva accepts temporarily and until further notice “Life Certificate / Certificate of life and marital status” by e-mail. Please follow the outlined procedure.
  • The Embassy in Tokyo is operational during its normal working hours.

Here are some relevant sources of information

The Japanese authorities have established consultation centres in local public health centres throughout Japan. For English language assistance, including on finding medical facilities or support in relation to COVID-19, please contact the advice line of your prefecture (PDF, 736.7 kB).

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government TMG provides information regarding cases of pneumonia associated with the novel coronavirus. Also, NHK World Japan provides information on their news website.

The Federal Office for Public Health FOPH has the expertise to advise on the virus and is therefore in a position to advise on health issues.

For more general information on the virus, you can also consult the website of the World Health Organization.

safetravel.ch (DE/FR) also publishes addresses of Institutes for travel medicine.

The travel advices of the FDFA (DE/FR/IT) focus on safety information related to the fields of politics and crime. They contain an assessment of possible risks and recommend certain safety measures.

If you are Swiss and travelling abroad, register now on the "Travel Admin App". This will enable the FDFA to provide you with better support on your return journey.
Swiss travellers abroad should register on the "Travel Admin App”

The Japanese Ministry of Justice publishes information related to immigration control and denial of landing, in English.

For further information about entry in Switzerland, please consult the website of the competent authority in Switzerland, the State Secretariat for Migration.