Hotels and “ryokan” inns have been warned not to refuse admission to same-sex couples or transgender people in a government directive that explicitly forbids discrimination to reinforce the existing law.

The act of rejecting a request for accommodation by inns and hotels for any reason other than when guests appear to be carrying a contagious disease or intend to engage in illegal acts, such as gambling, amounts to a violation of the inns and hotels law.

But the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare made it clear in its instruction dated Jan. 31 that businesses “should not reject guests on grounds for their sexual orientation or gender identity and take proper care of them.”

The edict was issued under the law’s revised guidelines for management of various matters, including hygiene.

Restricting reservations for double-bed rooms for such guests was cited as an example of being forbidden.

The ministry has informed prefectural authorities on the revised guidelines, and the directive will go into force on June 15.

The changes follow an incident where Tokyo’s Toshima Ward’s health department handed out administrative guidance to a love hotel in the ward after it refused a gay couple in August last year.

In 2016, a love hotel in Osaka Prefecture also received guidance in a similar case.

On both occasions, the guests complained to local governments about the hotels’ denial of them.

A panel with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has lobbied the government to improve the situation facing sexual minorities.