Haneda Airport
Photo: Highcore/Pixta Haneda Airport

Japan to set up coronavirus testing centres near major airports for overseas travellers

The centres at Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports, plus in central Tokyo and Osaka, plan to offer PCR tests for travellers

Kasey Furutani
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Kasey Furutani
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Even though Tokyo and the rest of Japan have completely reopened, the country's borders are still closed to 129 nations and regions. 

However, with talks of a travel bubble currently ongoing, Japan is planning ahead to ease international travel restrictions. According to The Japan Times, the government is looking to build new Covid-19 coronavirus testing centres near Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports, the country’s three major international hubs, as well as in central Tokyo and Osaka.

The airport testing centres are expected to be used for travellers landing in Japan while the city testing centres could be used by travellers leaving Japan. For the latter, the government is in discussion to issue an official certificate for negative PCR tests, but the details have yet to be confirmed. The testing centres could open as early as this summer. 

As of now, those arriving in Japan must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon landing at the airport, and sometimes have to wait days for results. According to the report, the new centres could perform up to 4,000 PCR tests per day. Currently, in-house airport testing only administers about 1,000 tests a day. This will release travellers from airport purgatory much faster, possibly in just a few hours. 

There are now 129 nations and regions on Japan’s entry ban list, which was updated on July 1, and rules for foreign residents are still strict – they cannot return to Japan unless they left Japan under ‘exceptional circumstances’. Let’s hope with this recent development, travel laws will relax and Japan will accept travellers and foreign residents again soon. 

Keep up to date with the coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan here

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