How to use the MySOS Application for Entering/Returning to Japan
Easy-short guide about MySOS App
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If you are reading this article, it’s like probably you just re-entered or entered Japan or you have to do it soon and you know the application called MySOS, mandatory for those who want to enter the country since April last year. In this article I will make a brief description of the application for those who haven’t yet entered Japan and have only heard about the app, and then I will put a small easy guide in case you have doubts about how it works.
But first, for those who may still be unclear about the rules of entry/return to Japan (as they have been changing in recent months), a brief explanation. After more than a year of very strict entry policies (mandatory 14-day quarantine, 3 to 7 days in a hotel upon arrival and then at home), since the beginning of March the Japanese government has significantly relaxed the entry process.
People arriving from the non-designated countries/regions who have completed their third vaccination shot is exempted from home quarantine. For those who haven’t been vaccinated or have only two doses there is a 7-day quarantine, but can be shortened to 3 days submitting a negative PCR test result on the third day. For those arriving from designated countries and regions in response to the Omicron variant, entrants who have completed their third vaccination shots they can do a 3-day home instead of a 3-day facility quarantine. Unvaccinated people or with two doses will be request to do a 3-days facility quarantine and do a PCR test again in their third day. If the test result is negative, they will not be asked to wait at home after leaving the facility.
And what does the My SOS app have to do with the entrance to Japan? Well, let’s see now.
What is MySOS App?
MySOS is an application that, to the best of my knowledge, was already created before Covid-19 for keep a record of your health and medical care, and supports a smooth response to emergencies, rescue request and first-aid. But being honest I don’t think many people used this application before (nor now in everyday life). With the emergence of Covid-19, the Japanese government decided to use this app that was already created to check foreigners and Japanese entering Japan. Downloading this application on your mobile phone is mandatory to enter the country. If you don’t have a smartphone that can run the application, you will have to rent a phone upon arrival in Japan.
With the current entry or re-entry system in Japan, some people will need this app for more or less days. Let me explain: as I said above, people who have 3 vaccinations and come from certain countries don’t need to quarantine upon arrival in Japan. To prove this, and to be able to make a fast track, you need to submit the necessary documents before you take the flight to Japan. For this you will need the My SOS application.
On the other hand, people who don’t have the 3 vaccinations or come from certain countries will need to show a negative PCR test on the third day if they want to shorten their quarantine from 7 to 3 days. This process is also done through My SOS.
Below, I’m going to explain how to do both processes.
How to use the MySOS App before entering Japan
After install the app, you have to register the basic data (name, passport, phone number…). Once this is done, you will see a screen like this. It’s time to start with the pre-registration procedures for quarantine. If you click on this button you will be redirected to a website with a red band that says “Not yet registered” and the data you gave when you opened the app for the first time. Below you can see the four documents that you must complete: questionnaire, pledge, vaccination certificate and PCR result.
The documents are easy. The questionnaire is just questions about if you are sick, if you have been in contact with infected people, etc. When you finish, a QR appears and next to “Questionnaire WEB” the status change to “Registered” with red background. Then you have to take the pledge, where you basically have to commit that you will be careful, that you will download the tracking applications, that you will follow the rules, etc. And as before, once finished the “Pledge” status will change to “Registered” with red background. Next is the vaccination certificate. You have to take a photo of the certificate if you have it in paper format or a screenshot if you have it in digital format. Here the status will not change immediately to “Registered” because they have to check it manually, but they usually check it quickly and the status will change to “Review completed”.
If everything has gone well, the application will no longer be red, but a friendlier yellow color. A not so friendly countdown informs us of the time left to pre-register. The status of the documents is also yellow.
Now there is only one last step left: the PCR. In the 72 hours before leaving the plane you have to get a clinic or hospital to do a PCR and have a doctor sign and stamp this document that I leave below. It has to be this EXACT document, not another one with the same information. You can download it here.
As with the vaccination certificate, you must upload a photo or screenshot of the negative PCR certificate. I recommend you to check that all the information is correct before uploading it.
As with the vaccination certificate, they have to check the PCR certificate, and once is checked (also usually fast) and approve it, we will have our MySOS in green and we are ready to travel! Now we just have to wait for the day of the flight. At the departure airport you will be asked for your passport and the app. The staff will click on the “Pre-registration” button to check the QR.
To show this you need internet connection, so it’s best to make sure that your phone has data or is connected to the airport wifi. If not, you have to show the PCR paper physically. And with this we can board the plane that will take us to Japan!
How to submit a negative PCR test proof for shorten quarantine
In order to be able to shorten the quarantine period on your day 3 of self-quarantine you need to show a negative result from a PCR test. If you want to end the quarantine on your day 4, then you need to submit a proof of your negative result BEFORE 18:00 on day 3. For people submitting their proof after 18:00, they will be able to finish the quarantine on the day 4 after receiving the official notification (it may take some time). In both cases the process is the same: after upload the negative result through the MySOS application you need to wait for a notification that says: “Your quarantine will end tomorrow/ Your quarantine ends today”.
Please take note that anyone who has symptoms or may have had close contact with the coronavirus is NOT eligible for end of quarantine. Also, in order to the proof to be accepted you need to go to an authorized clinic to do the PCR test. So make sure the clinic you choose is in the list of the government. Some clinics in Japan don’t have a doctor and therefore CANNOT give a diagnosis. Their result says “possible negative” or “possible positive”. These clinics may not be used in this case.
If you want to know the whole process about how to submit the proof of negative test here you have a step-by-step guide:
- Tap the “Settings” icon on the top-right in MySOS app. Then go to “Application for Special Circumstances (Go to Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants website)”
- Select “Proof of negative test for end of quarantine.” (only people that received a push notification on Day 2 after entry and are eligible for end of quarantine). Then tap “Image” and attach the documentation you wish to submit.
- Check that the filename you have attached is being displayed, then tap “Next” * DON’T type in the comment space.
- Select “Self” here. * For people submitting the proof for their child’s, select the child’s name if you have already submitted your child’s vaccination certificate and now want to submit your child’s certificate of negative test result.
- Tap the calendar icon, then when the calendar opens select the date of your test.
- Select the prefecture of the medical clinic or public health center that conducted the test. A list of medical clinics and public health centers will be displayed for the prefecture you selected. Then select the one that conducted your test.
- Select the type of your test and your test result.
- The images you have attached will be displayed. Check that all the requested information is included in the document, and that it’s clearly readable.
- Read the declaration, check the box to agree, and then tap the “Submit” button.
- After the data is sent and the screen above is displayed, your submission is complete. Now you need to wait for the message.
If you want to take a PCR test to shorten your quarantine our affiliated clinic Clinic Nearme offers the COVID-19 PCR test with same day result for 22,000 JPY. Clinic Nearme is one of the clinics authorized for the Japanese government and one of the few clinics in Tokyo and Osaka with English support.
I understand first hand that with the current situation entering/returning to Japan can be very stressful or make you have many doubts/worries so I hope this article helped you. You may also find these articles useful.