Current Health Protection Condition: Charlie
Public Health Emergency: Japan-wide
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, CALL AHEAD before proceeding to a medical facility
**Updated April 15, 2020**
U.S. Forces Japan declares Japan-wide public health emergency
Yokota Air Base, Tokyo – The commander of U.S. Forces Japan declared a public health emergency for all of Japan, Apr. 15, 2020. This order expanded the previous declaration, which included only the Kanto Plain region.
The declaration ensures commanders possess the necessary authorities to enforce compliance with health protection measures. It is applicable to anyone with access to U.S. installations or facilities and includes military, civilians, contractors, and host-nation employees.
The PHE will remain in effect through May 15, unless it is renewed or terminated sooner by the USFJ commander.
USFJ will continually assess necessary preventative measures and continues to encourage strict hygiene and social distancing to reduce the risk of transmission.
U.S. Forces Japan declares public health emergency for the Kanto Plain region
The U.S. Forces Japan commander announced a Public Health Emergency for the Kanto Plains region, Apr. 6, 2020.
The declaration ensures commanders possess the necessary authorities to enforce compliance health protection measures among military, civilians, and contractors who live and work on U.S. installations.
CDC designates Japan as “Level 3” country
The Center for Disease Control recently made the decision to issue a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Japan, raising it from the previous level of two. More information on the CDC levels can be found at www.CDC.gov.
What does this mean for U.S. Forces in Japan?
As stated in the Department of Defense travel restriction guidance: “Effective 13 Mar 20, all DOD uniformed personnel, civilian personnel, and dependents traveling to, from, or through CDC Designated Level 3 locations, will stop movement for the next 60 days.”
This includes all forms of official travel, including Permanent Change of Station, TDY, and government-funded leave. For DOD uniformed personnel, this also includes personal leave and other non-official travel.
As stated in the travel restriction guidance, exceptions may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is: (1) determined to be mission essential; (2) necessary for humanitarian reasons; or (3) warranted due to extreme hardship. Details on exceptions should be addressed through your chain of command.
At the conclusion of the 60 days, which began March 13 2020, the DoD will reevaluate the stop movement policy and issue follow-on guidance, as necessary.
We understand that this may cause increased concern and we know that it will create challenges in some shape or form for all of us stationed here in Japan. Things may continue to change, and new challenges will present themselves.
At this time, there is no change in the USFJ Force Health Protection Order or HPCON levels here in Japan.
For questions about leave and liberty, you need to continue to work with your chain of command to educate yourself and those around you. Each service component will have its own unique policies in place and it is important that we understand them and don’t spread rumors and misinformation.
Again, work with your chain of command to familiarize yourselves and others about these policies as they continue to change.
On March 11, the Secretary of Defense released updated travel restrictions for DoD components in response to COVID-19. U.S. Forces Japan is currently reviewing the policy and will be sending out more specific guidance as it becomes available.
This new DoD guidance will impact travel for military and civilian personnel and their families and we understand there are many questions and concerns at this time. Please continue to monitor U.S. Forces Japan social media accounts and the COVID-19 feature page for updates as they become available.
In the meantime, please stay in close communication with your leadership if you have travel plans such as a TDY, PCS, or leave away from your home station.
Notice to Travelers
1. While the GOJ has barred travelers from certain countries, they are allowing SOFA persons to fly into Japan. Entry is conditioned on two issues. First, travelers are not permitted to use public transportation from the initial point of entry to Japan, including domestic air travel. Second, they need to do 14 days of ROM under US control.
2. The best way for personnel to arrive in Japan for travel to Misawa, Iwakuni/Sasebo, or Okinawa is via the PATRIOT EXPRESS. This will allow for uninterrupted travel to their final destination. If going to Sasebo or any non-Kadena base, travel from Iwakuni or Kadena will need to be by private conveyance or GOV. If a traveler headed outside the Kanto Plain arrives via commercial air, they will need to use government transportation to Yokota or Atsugi and then do onward movement by milair - or do their 14 day ROM and then go commercial.
3. For personnel arriving on the Kanto Plain, they can travel PATRIOT or commercial. However, travel from the airport to their place where they will ROM pursuant to the COMUSFJ force health protection order will need to by private conveyance or GOV.
4. Given most travel is shut down currently, there should not be large numbers of travelers other than personnel returning from TDYs that had already been underway prior to the Stop Movement order. It is essential that you contact each potential traveler and make sure they know the requirements and reschedule travel plans to enable the travelers to avoid expensive ROM requirements at Narita, Osaka, etc.
5. We have had some travelers have difficulty with airlines allowing the travelers to get on flights or with the Ministry of Health allowing the SOFA persons to avoid quarantine in the immediate vicinity of the airport of initial arrival in Japan. Please ensure your personnel have a copy of the appropriate entry letter provided via their chain of command, which should remove the roadblock.
-Service members should be restricted to their residence or other appropriate domicile for 14 days and limit close contact (within 6 feet or 2 meters) with others during this 14-day period. DoD Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 4)
-Service members should not travel, visit public areas, or use public transportation and should avoid interaction with pets or other animals. DoD Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 4)
Kadena Air Base
Misawa Air Base
U.S. Army Japan
U.S. Forces Korea
Yokota Air Base
CDC Frequently Asked Questions
Updated CDC guidance:
CDC guidance and recommendations for health care providers:
Interim CDC Guidance on Pets and Other Animals
CDC Travel Health Alerts:
U.S. Embassy Tokyo COVID-19
World Health Organization COVID-19
U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories:
Health.mil spotlight page:
Office of Personnel Management preliminary guidance to federal agencies:
April 6, 2020
U.S. Forces Japan declares public health emergency
for the Kanto Plains region
Yokota Air Base, Tokyo – The U.S. Forces Japan commander announced a Public Health Emergency for the Kanto Plains region, Apr. 6, 2020.
“Protecting the health and safety of everyone associated with U.S. Forces Japan is my number one priority. Due to the steady increase in COVID-19 cases in the Tokyo area, I have implemented a Public Health Emergency for the Kanto Plains region,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, U.S. Forces Japan commander. “This order covers all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations and facilities in the area.”
Kanto Plains installations include: Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Hardy Barracks (Akasaka Press Center), Ikego Housing Area, Sagami Depot, Sagamihara Housing, Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, New Sanno Hotel, Tama Hills Recreation Area, Yokohoma North Dock, Yokota Air Base, and any other associated communication sites, housing areas or facilities within the designated Kanto Plains area.
“I cannot underscore enough the importance of personal responsibility at a time like this. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires the entire team – service members, civilians, families, and our Japanese partners, Schneider added. “The virus makes no exceptions based on military or civilian status, and our policies and procedures won’t either. We are in this together and I need every single person on every single facility and installation to take this seriously and comply with these measures. While I understand how challenging these times are, it is everyone’s responsibility to do their best to prevent the spread of this virus.”
The PHE will remain in effect through May 5, unless it is renewed or terminated sooner by the USFJ commander.
USFJ continues to follow existing international, U.S. and local guidance and procedures to protect and safeguard our workforce and families. Expansion of health protection and security measures have provided effective ways to lessen risks from COVID-19.
USFJ will continually assess its preventative measures, procedures and continues to encourage strict hygiene measures to reduce the risk of transmission. Anyone who believes they are ill should coordinate with their organizations in order to stay home and avoid exposing others to infection.
Updates from the Centers for Disease Control are available at the link below as well as on the USFJ homepage.
February 26, 2020
U.S. Forces, Japan Elevates Health Protection Condition and
Restricts Non-Essential Travel to the Republic of Korea
The Commander of U.S. Forces, Japan today announced a decision to elevate the Health Protection Condition within USFJ to “Bravo”. Actions required by units within USFJ during this elevated health protection status include:
• Consideration of limiting or cancelling meetings, training events, formations, large social gatherings, etc…
• Monitoring conditions in areas near U.S. bases and stations and coordination with local health officials
• Encouraging strict hygiene measures, including frequent handwashing, wiping down common surface areas on a regular basis, etc.
• Consideration of additional health screening measures at points of entry to installations if necessary
The overall risk to individual USFJ members in Japan remains low. However, the command encourages strict hygiene measures to reduce the risk of transmission. Those who are ill should coordinate with their organizations in order to stay home and avoid exposing others to infection.
Further information from the Centers for Disease Control is available here:
The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo has additional information available here:
The commander also restricted non-essential travel to the Republic of Korea (ROK). This decision followed the Centers for Disease Control decision to increase the risk assessment for the ROK as the Coronavirus spreads in the country.
All official trips to the ROK must be command approved, and all leisure or non-essential travel is prohibited for USFJ personnel and families.
USFJ Force Health Protection Order, 14 March 2020
Department of Defense Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 4)
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Air Force
All questions regarding DoDEA schools and COVID-19 should be directed to DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs, Miranda Ferguson, at firstname.lastname@example.org
DoDEA Pacific Facebook
DoDEA Pacific official website
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause the common cold or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019, now known as COVID-19, is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:
Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips of face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.
Facemasks will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19 from others; however, they may reduce the risk of spreading the virus if used properly. The use of facemasks at medical facilities is crucial for the safety of health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
When wearing a mask, do not neglect other essential preventative measures. Wash hands before and after touching your mask. Complete surgical mask instructions can be found at the World Health Organization.
While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in China. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.