Travelers from around the world enter Japan every day, but many don’t realize that a few smartphone apps could make the difference between a simple airport experience, and a logistical nightmare.
That’s because Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare require all travelers entering Japan to install four apps on their phones, in order to assist them in monitoring everyone entering the country while they quarantine, as is required by law under emergency COVID-19 travel rules, and to keep them safe while they remain in Japan.
Anyone entering Japan will need to be able to show that they have these four apps installed, meaning many are welcomed to the country with the stress of figuring out the airport’s WiFi in order to find and download the necessary apps as soon as they arrive – that’s a whole lot of travelers wishing they’d installed the apps at home, before flying to Japan!
Here are the four apps you must have to enter Japan, what each of them does, and most importantly, how to get them!
This allows the HCO (Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants) to confirm your location. You’ll need to use this to check in daily during your 14-day quarantine period.
Download OEL from the Play Store/App Store here.
This is a video call app that the HCO will use to contact you in order to confirm your location at any given time.
Download MySOS here.
3. Location Information apps
Most smartphones won’t need to download a separate app for this, but you’ll need to be able to present your phone’s location history to officials if you test positive for COVID-19. iPhone users don’t need to install an app for this, but other smartphone users that don’t already have it will need to download Google Maps.
Download Google Maps from the Play Store here.
This is Japan’s COVID-19 contact tracing app that can notify you if you may have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive.
Download COCOA from the Play Store/App Store here.
When you arrive in Japan, the airport’s quarantine staff will ask you to show each of these apps on your phone*. Downloading them and installing them before you travel could save you a huge amount of potential stress when you enter Japan!
As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, we know that it can be difficult to keep up with the many ways that travel has changed, and continues to change. At Mobal, we’re committed to being with you every step of the way! Our team of native English-speaking experts support fellow English-speakers in Japan every single day, and can’t wait to welcome you back to Japan!
*According to the Japanese government’s guidance for travelers, ‘If you do not have a smartphone or have a smartphone on which you cannot install the app, you will be required to rent a smartphone at the airport at your own expense when you enter Japan’.