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COVID19 – March 10 News Update & Travel Advice

COVID19 – News Update & Travel Advice

World Health Organisation (WHO):

The WHO are continuously posting daily reports on the news of COVID19. Updated on: March 09 Report #49

Key Findings for JAPAN:

      • Japan Confirmed Cases = 488 (33 new since previous report)
      • Japan Deaths: 7 = .006% of population of 126 million people 

Obviously, health and safety of our clients and team are our main priority at all times. We continue to monitor the evolving impact of Covid-19 in our client countries, and Japan itself.

As of today, March 10th, there are no travel restrictions in place to Japan. Should there be any changes to this, we will be in contact with anyone affected due to travel within one month of departure.

FAQs 

  • Can I still go on my planned trip?

Yes, all tours are running as normal. If any closures are in place in Japan to sightseeing places, our local staff will be able to advise and arrange alternative plans.

  • What if a travel restriction is put in place?

If a travel restriction is put in place by the Department of Foreign Affairs in your country of residence or in Japan, we will be in touch to notify you. You will be offered to postpone your trip to a later date or join a different tour in 2020, 2021 or 2022.

  • What if I want to change my booking?

If you are really not comfortable to travel to Japan at this time, and you have already paid in full or received your travel pack, this means we have put all your plan in place that includes issuing tickets and paying for services. If you wish to postpone your trip, please follow these steps:

  • Email us with your written request to: info@uniquejapantours.com
  • Include your preferred travel dates to postpone to (exact dates will not be required yet but note, we cannot re-book services until we know your exact dates)
  • Services included in your existing booking may be subject to change or price difference
  • Expect to pay a small fee for re-issuing tickets & travel pack (if already received at time of notice / amount will be sent by your travel consultant)
  • Not all service providers in Japan (hotels, special activities e.g. Geisha in Kyoto) will accept cancellations or postponed requests at this stage. However please be assured we will negotiate as best we can on your behalf.

Once you receive our confirmation of notification to postpone, you can consider your trip ‘POSTPONED’. This means your tour is guaranteed for the dates you give us.

  • What sights are closed in Japan?

As of March 10th, the Japan National Tourism Organisation have announced the following closures of popular places, most are due to reopen in Mid-March.

 

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Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO):

As of February 28th, the Japanese Government has taken some short-term measures (2-week quarantine) to assist in containing this virus to reduce any further spread. Some of these actions are:

  • Closure of schools for one month up to and including their normal Spring break holiday
  • Closure of some popular (crowded) sightseeing spots, e.g. Universal Studios Osaka, Team Lab Studio Tokyo, Tokyo Disney Resort) until March 10-15th See full list here.
  • Hokkaido, which has the most confirmed cases, in the north of Japan has requested all citizens to refrain from socialising, especially on weekends
  • Some festivals and events have been called off or postponed.

 

Planning your trip with Unique Japan Tours but have concerns?

Be assured, our team are working tirelessly to ensure your upcoming trip will not affected. The following measures & recommendations are now in place:

  • FINAL ITINERARY

All final Itineraries will be up-to-date with accurate information on any closures should that be the case. We expect places to reopen in Mid-March but in the event they are not, you will be notified and given alternative options for your daily schedule. Remember, there are thousands of things to do in these cities. Not going to an over-crowded museum is not necessarily a bad thing! Our guides will offer you interesting local & off the beaten track places to see instead!

  • EMERGENCY CONTACT

As with all our travel plans to Japan, you will be given an emergency contact phone to call in the event you feel unwell or have any concerns while on your trip. Our bilingual team will be able to assist you to ensure you are comfortable and your mind is at ease.

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT

If you are traveling on a self-guided trip and feel uncomfortable using public transport, let us know. We can arrange private chartered vehicles no matter where you are in Japan. This means you avoid traveling on trains or buses and instead, have a private driver for the day. Additional costs will apply if not already included.

Thinking of Postponing your trip?

If you are due to travel to Japan in/after April 2020, then think again before postponing your trip (unless you have been advised by your medical practitioner to avoid unnecessary travel). Wait and see how the situation is changing. We will keep your booking secured as planned. Keep an eye on our twitter posts (@toursofjapan) or our UJT News.

If you are really not comfortable to travel to Japan at this time, and you have already paid in full or received your travel pack, this means we have put all your plan in place that includes issuing tickets and paying for services. If you wish to postpone your trip, please comply as follows:

  • Email us with your written request to: info@uniquejapantours.com
  • Include your preferred travel dates to postpone to (exact dates will not be required yet but note, we cannot rebook services until we know your exact dates)
  • Services included in your existing booking may be subject to change or price difference
  • Expect to pay a small fee for re-issuing tickets & travel pack (if already received at time of notice / amount will be sent by your travel consultant)
  • Not all service providers in Japan (hotels, special activities e.g. Geisha in Kyoto) will accept cancelations or postponed requests at this stage. However please be assured we will negotiate as best we can on your behalf.

Once you receive our confirmation of notification to postpone, you can consider your trip ‘POSTPONED’. This means your tour is guaranteed for the dates you give us.

Important Notice:

  • If you have already paid in full, your payment to Unique Japan Tours is fully protected by Total Payment Protection Policy (See terms & conditions Clause 2.7)
  • Your tour will be rearranged as per your original confirmed plan, unless otherwise stated (subject to services being available at your new travel dates & prices)

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News Update: February 29, 2020

The WHO are continuously posting daily reports on the news of COVID19. View WHO #39 Situation Report February 29 2020

Key Findings for JAPAN:

      • Japan Confirmed Cases = 210 (4 new since previous report)
      • Japan Deaths: 4 = .006% of population of 126 million people 

Updated advice for Japan from Authorities:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US issued new advice for Japan on February 22nd. It has moved from Level 1 ‘Practice usual precautions’ to Level 2 ‘Practice enhanced precautions’. Reasons for this change are said to be  …. ‘”sustained community spread has been reported in Japan. Sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing.”

The UK and Irish government is yet to issue any changed advice regarding travel to Japan.

The State Department has changed their advice for Japan from ‘Level 1 – exercise normal precautions‘ to ‘Level 2, exercise increased caution‘.

The Australian government has issued similar advice.

If you are planning on traveling to Japan soon, we are advising our clients to take usual precautions and continue to check official travel advice from your country. Our own team are monitoring travel advice from Ireland, United Kingdom, US and Australia.

What does this mean if you are due to travel to Japan?

If you are planning a trip to Japan we are encouraging the vast majority of our clients to plan as usual, taking the basic hygienic precautions such as washing hands regularly and using hand sanitizer gel. Japan is still considered safe to travel to. However, if you are elderly or have any underlying health conditions, the CDC is advising you to consider postponing your trip.

If your travel dates are for later on in the year then don’t let COVD19 interfere with your plans. Our team are ready to create your plan in the best way we know how! If you are an existing customer, rest assured, your trip is in good hands. We will be in a position to act quickly and fairly for any changes that are due if the need arises. Our team have years of experience in handling urgent cases for changes in itineraries.

UJT’s Pre-Departure Top Travel Tips: 

  1. Monitor your own Health Service Advice (HSE Ireland)
  2. Contact your travel insurance provider to make sure your policy covers cancellation in case a travel ban is put in place. If your policy does not cover this, we recommend considering you change insurance policy.
  3. Before you book your flight to Japan, make sure the airline allows changes (most will at an additional charge) in case you wish to postpone or cancel. Be careful booking flights online. It is often difficult to understand the small print. Ask our team if you have any doubt.
  4. If you have already booked your flight to Japan, no action is necessary unless you wish to postpone your trip. If so, contact your airline (or agent) to find out your options.  Then make your decision. Feel free to ask us for advice.
  5. Heed advice from the World Health Organisations Travel Advice. 
  6. If a travel ban is put in place from your country of origin and you are due to travel with Unique Japan Tours within two months, contact us immediately. We will offer you the best options available.
  7. Don’t let this flu virus stop you booking your dream holiday to Japan. Contact us today to get started!

 

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