Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 10 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5
- Japan will shorten the current eight-month interval between the second and third COVID-19 vaccine shots "wherever possible," amid growing concerns about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, a senior government official said Sunday.
As of 11 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4
- Japan's transport ministry has asked each air carrier to submit data every day on bookings for inbound international flights as the country steps up efforts to keep out the Omicron coronavirus variant, sources with knowledge of the situation said Saturday.
- India, Greece and Romania, as well as four U.S. states, will be added Sunday to Japan's list of places from which returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents will be subject to stricter quarantine requirements as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- Japan is entering its end-of-year party season with most COVID-19 restrictions lifted based on low numbers of cases, but concerns about the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant are likely to keep the festive mood restrained once again.
- Nasser Al-Khater, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, said he anticipates his nation's COVID-19 preparedness and lessons learned from this summer's Tokyo Olympics will allow soccer's premier event to take place with packed stadiums.
- Japan's transport ministry said Friday domestic airlines will resume taking inbound international flight bookings from the next day, enabling returnees and expatriates to travel back to the country after the reversal of an initial travel blanket ban to prevent the Omicron coronavirus variant spread.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Health ministry call center
COVID-19: 0120-565-653 (toll free)
COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770 (toll free)
-Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; for Thai 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for Vietnamese 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Health ministry's COVID-19 Vaccine Navigation website
- AMDA Medical Information Center's "Multilingual Consultation Service"
- Available in Simple Japanese and English, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's COVID-19 info
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government hotline
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (including weekends and holidays)
- Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- Japan National Tourism Organization's "Guide for when you are feeling ill"
- Multilingual clinic/hospital search available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- JNTO's "Japan Visitor Hotline"
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day
+81-50-3816-2787 (from overseas)