Although international travel is still limited to and from Japan, one of the biggest challenges for travellers is the transfer from airports into the city centre. To contain the spread of Covid-19, people coming from overseas have been asked not to take any public transport, including taxis, for their first 14 days in the country, leaving many without an affordable way to get home to self-isolate.
Earlier this month, news broke that the government was considering offering special shuttle buses from Narita and Haneda airports to certain hotels around the city. Now, it seems there’s another option on the table, too. NHK has reported that the government is looking at designating some train cars exclusively for overseas arrivals at Narita airport.
Japan's transport ministry and Keisei Electric Railway plan to allow overseas travellers to catch the train from Narita airport to Keisei-Ueno Station on designated express train cars. This new plan is to help reduce the financial strain of travelling from Narita into the city centre, which can cost upwards of ¥30,000 in a private car.
People arriving from abroad will also be asked to use designated routes within the airport and train stations to avoid any contact with other passengers. From Keisei-Ueno Station, travellers will be asked to arrange cars or private vehicles to take them to their place of quarantine. If any confirmed Covid-19 cases arise, passenger information and train seat reservation numbers will be used for contact tracing.
Japan's transport ministry aims to put the plan into effect starting this month and is also considering a similar arrangement with the JR East Narita Express trains in the near future. This additional means of airport transfer would be a big help considering Japan is looking into reopening to international tourists come spring 2021.
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