While there is concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in Japan, movement between prefectures was relaxed on June 19, 2020, to promote tourism.
With the cooperation of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Japan Tourism Agency, Japan's Travel Liaison Committee has developed a leaflet entitled “Traveling in the new normal” that outlines points for tourists to keep in mind to prevent the spread of infection, while enjoying sightseeing.
It has been posted on the website of the Japan Travel Agency, which is a Travel Liaison Committee member organization.
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- Table of Contents
- What does "Traveling in the new normal" mean for visitors to Japan?
- Don’t forget to check the safety protocols for the destination you plan to visit.
- Wear a face mask to protect you and people around you.
- Refrain from conversation in public transport.
- Throughout your travels, always remember to wash your hands.
- Skip places when they’re crowded. Visit later to enjoy without the crowds.
- Smile and nod rather than shaking hands.
- Enjoy the food and drink more with less talk.
- Practice social distancing for your own peace of mind.
- Give yourself a boost with fresh air from outside.
- Be a smart traveler. Begin the day with a health check.
- Select your souvenirs with your eyes, not your hands.
What does "Traveling in the new normal" mean for visitors to Japan?
In "Traveling in the new normal," in addition to the basic precautions to prevent the spread of infection during travel, there are specific precautions outlined for each aspect of traveling (movement, meals, accommodations, tourist facilities, shopping).
For example, some of the basic items include: "Don't forget to check the safety protocols for the destination you plan to visit," and "Plan a light, flexible schedule."
When moving from place to place, "Refrain from conversation in public transport," is a point mentioned.
As for dining, "Let your server divide up portions as an extra precaution," is a suggestion. And for shopping, "Select your souvenirs with your eyes, not your hands."
Information is presented in a very clear and logical manner and it's rather easy to remember.
Below are some excerpts from "Traveling in the new normal," with additional comments by LIVE JAPAN's editorial team.
Don’t forget to check the safety protocols for the destination you plan to visit.
Before traveling, be sure to check what kind of measures and guidelines offered by your tour operator, if using one, and have a look at the websites of your embassy and of your destination airport to gain as much information as necessary. This is to help clarify what additional travel documentation is necessary (doctor's letter, PCR test results, etc.) and also to inform yourself of expectations once you reach your destination.
While in Japan, for each of the spots you plan to visit, be sure to check their official website ahead of time, to make sure that the facility is indeed open. Some facilities may be temporarily closed or their business hours shortened, or there may be additional registration procedures involved in advance. It's better to have this information before you go, rather than risk disappointment.
Wear a face mask to protect you and people around you.
As of June 2020 when this article was published, many facilities require that face masks be worn when entering a store. Wearing a mask is recommended to prevent splash infection. Not only will you protect yourself, but people around you will also feel safe.
Refrain from conversation in public transport.
While you're traveling around Japan, you'll of course be excited to share your experience with those around you. But to prevent possible splash infection, it's best to continue the conversation once you get outside.
Throughout your travels, always remember to wash your hands.
While traveling, there are many opportunities to come in contact with a variety of objects that others have touched. Hand sanitizers are conveniently placed in many public places, restaurants, and other destinations. It is good practice to wash and disinfect your hands frequently as you go around.
Skip places when they’re crowded. Visit later to enjoy without the crowds.
Japan aims to minimize what are referred to as the "3 Cs": "Closed spaces with poor ventilation,” "Crowded places with many people nearby," and "Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations." These situations are especially considered as having a higher risk of spreading infection.
To help you avoid the 3Cs, it is a good idea to shift the time of visiting popular areas, such as aiming for a vacant time or day. For restaurants, it may be a good idea to make reservations in advance, for a quieter time.
Smile and nod rather than shaking hands.
It may be challenging especially when meeting friendly new people, but it's best to avoid shaking hands and greet with a smile or bow instead.
Enjoy the food and drink more with less talk.
We might be used to casually dining and enjoying fun conversations with our travel partners and others around us. Instead, it may be a good idea to instead have a moderate conversation during meals and enjoy the taste of cooking to your heart's content.
Practice social distancing for your own peace of mind.
Make sure to leave space between people when you line up, such as when waiting at admission for tickets or at a shop or other location.
Give yourself a boost with fresh air from outside.
Enjoy some fresh air! To the extent possible, avoid stuffy places and seek spots with good air circulation.
Be a smart traveler. Begin the day with a health check.
Monitor your physical condition, such as taking your temperature every morning. It can also be a good idea to log this information, as if you notice your temperature is elevated you can more quickly seek medical assistance.
Select your souvenirs with your eyes, not your hands.
It's fun to choose souvenirs while traveling, but to limit exposure to germs, try not to touch things unless you are intent on buying them.
The poster of "Traveling in the New Normal" states that "Each person's cooperation will help protect everyone's enjoyable trips." In this way, you can help protect not only yourself, but others around you.
Whether you live in Japan or abroad, these travel tips are very useful indeed!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
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