[Update, November 2] According to NHK, the PCR test centre at Narita airport has now opened. The facility is the first on-spot test centre in Japan and is set up with the Nippon Medical School Foundation. The centre is open around the clock and can service approximately 700 tests per day. Advance appointments are not necessary, but reservations can be made in advance. For more details, visit Narita airport's official website here. An English-friendly website will soon be set up for the test centre, but more information can be found in Japanese here.
[October 23] Although international travel is still extremely restricted due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Japan is slowly easing entry restrictions. In recent news, the country is said to be looking into possibly lifting the mandatory two-week quarantine for citizens and foreign residents as well as short-term business travellers.
Back in July, it was reported that major airports in Tokyo and Osaka would be setting up dedicated coronavirus testing centres. Now, it’s confirmed that Narita airport is planning to open its testing centres by November.
According to Kyodo News, two-hour coronavirus tests will be available to travellers departing Narita airport by Monday November 2. You’ll find the facilities at two terminal buildings, allowing you to obtain a negative test result certificate within two hours.
The testing centres will conduct PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for a fee and if the result is negative, they will issue certificates needed for travelling out of Japan. Similar certificates can also be issued for those who tested negative before arriving at Narita airport, however they will need to show proof of their test results or a medical referral letter.
The airport testing centres will be able to accommodate about 700 people per day and could expand its capacity by increasing the number of doctors and nurses on hand. For the first month, the entire process may take longer than the stipulated two hours as the lab may need some time to operate smoothly.
Brace yourself, as the test is not cheap. Even with an advance appointment, you’ll still need to cough up ¥39,800 for both the test and the cert. Did not make an appointment? That would be ¥46,500, thank you. On the bright side, these testing centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, services during early morning or late night hours will incur additional fees.
The testing centres will accept anybody, not just departing passengers. But if you show any coronavirus symptoms, you will not be accepted.
Follow live updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Tokyo and Japan here