COVID-19 Information for Kumamoto JETs

This page contains information useful to Kumamoto JETs regarding the 2019 coronavirus disease (新型コロナウイルス感染症, shingata koronauirusu kansenshō) caused by SARS-CoV-2.

This page was last updated on 09 June 2023.

1. National Announcements
2. Prefectural Announcements [UPDATED]
3. Guidelines for consulting with the Kumamoto Prefecture Consultation Center for COVID-19
4. Spread of COVID-19 – Clusters and the Three Cs (3つの密)
5. New Lifestyle Recommendations (新しい生活様式)
6. External Links

1. National Announcements

From 0:00 am (JST) on October 11, 2022, based on the New Border Measures (34), for all cross-border travelers and returnees from countries/regions where the B.1.1.529 Omicron variant becomes dominant (all countries/regions except for those where COVID-19 variants other than the Omicron variant become dominant, based on the New Border Measures (27) (February 24, 2022)), self-quarantine in places such as their own residence or accommodations and refraining from use of public transportation are no longer required in principle.

On arrival COVID-19 testing is no longer required unless entrants and returnees have suspected COVID-19. In addition, from 0:00 am (JST) on April 29, 2023, all travelers and returnees to Japan will no longer be required to submit either a certificate of negative result of COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours prior to departure, or a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate of three doses or equivalent.

For more information regarding the abovementioned, please check MOFA of Japan’s website here.

You can also access the MHLW of Japan’s website on border control and requirements to enter Japan here.

Measures regarding wearing face masks in public have been relaxed.

  • In general, the decision to wear a face mask will be up to the independent choice of the individual. However, wearing a mask is recommended when visiting a medical institution, visiting medical institutions or facilities where elderlies are present, and when using crowded public transportation.
  • For more information regarding wearing a face mask in public in Kumamoto and other basic infection control measures, please check out this page on the Kumamoto Prefectural Homepage.

2. Prefectural Announcements

Risk Level:
Kumamoto Prefecture uses a 6-stage “Risk Level” scale in public communications regarding the state of spread of COVID-19 infections in the prefecture, with the lowest level being 0 and the highest 5.

The current risk level is set at Level 1. (as of 05 May 2023)

If you are experiencing symptoms but have not confirmed whether you have COVID-19, please check this page for more detailed procedures and their lists of medical institutions offering PCR tests. Please note that you will be required to pay for the service, consultation, and prescriptions.

The prefectural government is also asking for all residents to cooperate with the following requests:

Practice basic infection control measures.

  • Wear a mask even if you have no or are not showing any signs of symptoms.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly, sanitize your hands often, and keep the space well ventilated.
  • If you feel like you may have a fever or cold-like symptoms, please contact a medical institute for consultation as soon as possible.
  • Avoid traveling across prefectures unless necessary.

② If you test positive for COVID-19, please stay calm and follow the proper procedures.

  • For symptomatic persons, please scan the QR code below.
  • For asymptomatic persons, please scan the QR code below.

③ Be cautious when gathering for social events like eating and drinking.

  • Practice the four safety measure steps when dining out. You can find out more about these steps by scanning the QR code below. (Japanese)
  • Dine only with those who you are already often around. (ie. family members)
  • Do not gather in large numbers.

④ (For shop and restaurant owners) Follow and maintain the infection control measure guidelines and checklists.

3. Guidelines for consulting with the Kumamoto Prefecture Consultation Center for COVID-19

If you experience any of the following symptoms, do not leave your home to go to work/school, and begin recording your temperature twice every day.

Phone the Kumamoto Prefecture Consultation Center for COVID-19 at 096-300-5909 (Available 24/7).

If you need English support, you can first request free multilingual phone interpreting for COVID-19 consultations at 092-687-7962 (Available 24/7).

The Consultation Center will…

  • Advise you if you are unsure whether you are experiencing symptoms
  • Provide information about COVID-19
  • Connect you to a public health center which can arrange for you to visit a medical center (outpatient clinic) to receive a test for COVID-19


Elderly people or those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart failure or respiratory diseases (such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), or people taking immunosuppressants or undergoing cancer treatment should contact the center if they have even mild cold-like symptoms.

Anyone other than the people mentioned above should contact the consultation center if they experience persistent cold-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, heaviness in the chest, or a sudden and persistent sore throat.

If your symptoms persist for 4 or more days, please contact the center immediately. Symptoms can vary between people so if you believe you are suffering from strong symptoms, contact the consultation center. This also applies to those who have been taking fever-reducing medication.

Pregnant Women: Pregnant women who experience symptoms should contact their Returnee/Virus Contact Consultation Center as soon as possible.

People who have young children: Children who experience symptoms should see a pediatrician. Please contact the Returnee/ Virus Contact Consultation Center or your child’s usual medical clinic by phone.

【厚生労働省】 新型コロナウイルス感染症についての相談・受診の目

4. Spread of COVID-19 – Clusters and the Three Cs (3つの密)

(The following information is taken from the Akita Wiki here)

The primary method of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Japan is through the tracking and isolating of confirmed cases and suspect cases. By isolating these individuals, and by confirming the routes of transmission, Japanese authorities attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

  • Confirmed Case: someone who has positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test or an antigen test
  • Suspect Case: someone who has been in close contact (濃厚接触, nōkō sesshoku) with a confirmed case

A cluster refers to a situation where a single SARS-CoV-2 carrier spreads the virus to multiple people in the same setting in a short time span. The concept of clusters was initially brought to public attention when they were formed in live houses, sports clubs and eateries.

The concept of clusters eventually lead to the concept of the Three Cs, (3つの密 or 3密, mittsu no mitsu or sanmitsu in Japanese). Each of the Three Cs describes a situation or condition in which the spread of viruses is more probable. The presence of any one of these Three Cs increases the likelihood of virus transmission. However the probability of virus transmission is at its highest when the conditions of all Three Cs overlap in the same setting; it is these settings which must be avoided if the spread of COVID-19 is to be slowed.

The Three Cs are the following:

1. Closed spaces with poor ventilation (密閉空間; mippei kūkan)

Any place where the air inside stays inside. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Apartments
  • Rooms in a house
  • Offices
  • Theaters, clubs, restaurants, etc.

(The adverse effects of these places can be mitigated in part by keeping doors/windows open, running ventilators, etc.)

2. Crowded places with many people nearby (密集場所; misshū basho)

Any place with large numbers of people present. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Parks
  • Offices
  • Classrooms
  • Theaters, clubs, restaurants, etc.

(The adverse effects of these places can be mitigated in part by maintaining distance from others, etc.)

3. Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations (密接場面; missetsu bamen)

Any setting which two or more people are actively engaged with each other. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Conversations
  • Singing karaoke
  • Meetings
  • Classes
  • Meals (taken by 2 or more people)

(The adverse effects of these settings can be mitigated in part by wearing a facemask, not touching your face, not sharing objects, disinfecting those objects which you must share, etc.)

5. New Lifestyle Recommendations (新しい生活様式)

Despite the decrease in the numbers of new infections, it is still possible for the rate of infection to increase again. To prevent this, the national government is asking people to implement “New Lifestyle” (新しい生活様式, atarashii seikatsu yо̄shiki) measures in their daily lives.

About adapting to a “New Lifestyle” (PDF:83.7 キロバイト)

6. External Links

Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) (自治体国際化協会)
CLAIR Multicultural Portal Site (COVID-19) – page with English information about COVID-19

Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme
CLAIR News Special Issues with information about coronavirus, uploaded on the JET website (English)
CLAIR News Special Issues (Japanese)

Kumamoto Prefecture
Kumamoto Prefecture Coronavirus Information Portal (Japanese)

Kumamoto Support Center for Foreign Residents – English Information Page

Kumamoto City
Kumamoto City Coronavirus Information Page (Japanese)

National Government Ministries:
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare – English Information Page

Ministry of Foreign Affairs – List of countries which have restrictions on Japanese nationals or people travelling from Japan:

General Information:
WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard

NHK Coronavirus Data (Updated daily) (Japanese)

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) maintains a page with information targeted towards foreigners travelling in Japan, including a variety of helpful resources as well as a list of temporary attractions closures:

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