Are you planning a trip to Nagoya in 2020 and with the new Coronavirus you aren’t sure whether it is safe to come here anymore? I can understand you might feel uneasy, it is hard to assess a situation half-way across the globe.
For this reason, I put together this post with all the latest information on the Coronavirus in Nagoya and the rest of Japan, updated regularly to keep you up to date.
I hope after reading the information below you will be able to make a decision you feel good about. And if you do decide to visit Nagoya, I would love to welcome you to my adoptive home personally on a food tour in Nagoya.
What Exactly Is the Coronavirus?
Let’s start by talking about the Coronavirus in general. If we do not fully understand a matter it can seem much scarier than it is. So, having as much information as possible is important.
The Coronavirus which started out in China at the very end of 2019 has been officially named COVID-19. It is believed to have started at an illegal wildlife market in Wuhan, a city in the center of China. The virus emerged after jumping from one as yet unknown species to another and then changed to also infect humans.
In the months since the new virus emerged thousands of people have been infected, most of them in the Hubei Province of which Wuhan is the biggest city. As of March 9. a total of 109,000 cases have been reported, and more than 3800 people have died from the decease. (Source: Worldometers, March 8. 2020)
What Is the Situation With the Coronavirus in Japan?
In Japan, there have been a number of coronavirus cases. A total number of 502 cases have been confirmed, this is excluding the 696 cases that were on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked at the port of Yokohama.
Of these 502 cases, 7 people have died and 76 have seen a full recovery.
If we look at where cases in Japan are occurring we see that Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture has been hit hardest with 98 people infected. The second-highest number of infections occurred in Aichi Prefecture, where Nagoya is located. Here a total of 70 people have been infected. (Source: NHK World Japan, March 8. 2020)
What Has Changed in Nagoya Since the Coronavirus Emerged?
The first changes I personally realized after the Coronavirus outbreak in Nagoya were more bottles of alcohol to disinfect hands everywhere and the fact that surgical masks were sold out everywhere.
At many entrances to department stores, supermarkets, shops, train stations, and in other random places bottles of rubbing alcohol have been placed with the request to disinfect hands when entering or exiting. I also saw a sign at the entrance of some places that asked people to wash their hands frequently.
Surgical masks have been out of stock in many shops, and those that still sell them have put restrictions in place for the number of packs each person is allowed to buy. Not only surgical masks are sold out but also toilet paper for some reason.
So far, while it is hard to find any at supermarkets and other shops there still seems to be enough stock in public places. All public restrooms I used in the past weeks still had toilet paper.
While it was still very much business as usual in Nagoya until the middle of February, at the end of February prime minister Shinzo Abe held a press conference promising to tackle the spread of the virus. As of March 2., all public schools have been closed in Japan until April. (Source: The Mainichi, February 27. 2020)
Many companies have also started using telework as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. People with symptoms are asked to stay at home for 2 weeks. (Source: The Mainichi, February 21. 2020)
Almost all bigger events have been canceled and many attractions have been closed in Japan for a two week period from the end of February to the middle of March. (Source: The Mainichi, February 26. 2020)
Since the beginning of March, I feel there has been a huge shift in perception. The daily life of people has been disrupted quite a bit with children staying at home, some parents also working from home and many events and gatherings canceled. People go out less and stay at home more. Even the places that are still open as usual see much fewer visitors, foreign or otherwise.
Is It Still Safe to Travel to Nagoya in 2020?
The important question now is ‘Is it safe to travel to Nagoya in 2020?’. I can’t speak for the future, and how the virus might develop in the next couple of months. And every person should make up their own mind. I personally am not too worried about the coronavirus. Young healthy people seem to handle the disease very well and even if they get COVID-19 they recover.
Last week I guided a couple from Australia who are in Japan on their honeymoon. With most attractions closed in all major cities in Japan they decided to participate in a cooking class in Tokyo and my food tour in Nagoya. They visit public places such as shrines and temples that aren’t closed and enjoy themselves by visiting restaurants.
When you decided to travel to Japan and Nagoya you run not only the risk of contracting the virus but also in case the virus gets worse you might need to change your travel plans. You might not be able to return to your country or need to undergo quarantine.
I advise everyone who decides to visit Nagoya to take necessary precautions like regular hand washing and disinfecting and using masks. Stay at least one meter away from people who have symptoms like coughing, or sneezing.
Who Can’t Visit Japan Currently?
The following people are currently not able to visit Japan even if they wanted to:
- Chinese nationals who hold a passport issued in Hubei or Zhejiang Provinces
- Foreign nationals who have visited Hubei and Zhejiang Provinces within 14 days of arrival in Japan
- Foreign nationals who have visited the South Korean cities of Daegu, Gyeongsan, Andong and Yeongcheon, or the counties of Cheongo, Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju or Gunwei within 14 days of arrival in Japan
- Foreign nationals who visited the Iranian provinces of Kom, Tehran, and Gilan within 14 days of arrival in Japan
- All foreign nationals arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and South Korea need to undergo self-imposed quarantine upon arrival in Japan for 14 days (Source: Japan Times, March 8. 2020)
Coronavirus-Related News on Nagoya and Aichi
In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. That’s why she started Nagoya Foodie. To teach about Nagoya, her adoptive home online through blog posts and offline through unique food tours.