Marine Forces Japan reintroduces additional protective measures on Okinawa due to COVID-19 concerns

Marine Forces Japan reintroduces additional protective measures on Okinawa due to COVID-19 concerns

by III MEF Marines
U.S. Marine Corps

OKINAWA, Japan – Marine Forces Japan is reintroducing Health Protection Condition “Charlie” and additional protective measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus by further restricting off-base activities beginning July 10. As a courtesy, representatives from the Government of Japan and the Okinawa Prefectural Government have been notified of these changes.

These changes are motivated by the current spread of COVID-19 and have been implemented to protect our forces, our families, and the local community.

The measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Personnel are not allowed to use non-military public/mass transportation (buses, trains, taxis, etc.) with the exception of on-base taxis.
  • Personnel are allowed to go to off-base establishments for essential services, which are medical appointments, veterinary services, grocery shopping, banking, bill payment, gas/service stations, postal services, and PCS related activities.
  • Personnel are allowed to use off-base restaurant’s take-out and drive-through services, but are not allowed to dine-in at off-base restaurants.
  • Personnel are not allowed to go to any off-base establishment that is not an essential service.
  • Personnel are allowed to engage in off-base outdoor physical fitness like running, hiking, swimming, as long as they avoid close contact and adhere to social distancing guidance.

The intent of these measures is to further reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus among our personnel and our Japanese neighbors by limiting movements and minimizing in-person interactions.  They apply to all MARFOR-J service members, dependents, Status of Forces Agreement-status civilians, contractors, and other MARFOR-J personnel.

Our responsibility to be America’s force in readiness has not changed.  MARFOR-J will continue mission essential training and activities, while implementing social distancing practices and leveraging telework and other means to limit the potential for exposure. We will maintain our proficiency and readiness in support of our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

These additional measures will be continually assessed to determine if additional ones may be required to ensure the protection of the force, or if they can be relaxed.

For questions about Marine Forces – Japan’s response to COVID-19, contact III Marine Expeditionary Force, Communication Strategy and Operations at iiimefmedia@usmc.mil.

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