The flurry of information surrounding Covid-19 coronavirus has everyone in a flutter. Japan is still denying entry to those who have visited these 129 nations or regions in the last 14 days, and there is still no word on when foreign residents will be able to easily enter Japan, although an official decision on relaxing the tight re-entry restrictions might be made this week. Things are looking up though: Japan is planning to ease entry rules for business travellers from ten Asian countries and regions, including Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, in addition to the possible travel bubble with Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.
With the possible increase of international travel, Japan is setting up coronavirus testing centres at Haneda, Narita and Kansai airports, in addition to two more testing centres in central Tokyo and Osaka. Japan Today reports that the testing centres could open as early as September to accommodate the possible loosening of restrictions on international travel. The new airport testing centres will be able to administer up to 6,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily for inbound travellers: 1,800 at Haneda Airport, 2,700 at Narita Airport and 1,500 at Kansai Airport. Those three centres will also have enough capacity to test 6,000 outbound travellers daily. Those who test negative will receive a certificate to show to authorities at their destination.
The airport and city testing centres combined will administer a total of 9,000 PCR tests per day. Once the cities have enough quarantine capacity, the centres will increase PCR tests to 13,000 per day. Currently, in-house airport testing centres can only administer 1,000 PCR tests per day, so the new centres will help get travellers out of the airport quicker, with results potentially available in just a few hours.
Keep up to date with the coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan here.
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