Japan to provide free PCR tests for people unable to be vaccinated

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Prime Minister’s Office

The government has decided to allocate about ¥300 billion to provide free PCR tests for people who cannot be vaccinated against the coronavirus for health reasons, among others, in preparation for a possible “sixth wave” of infections, according to sources.

The funds will be included in the fiscal 2021 supplementary budget proposal, government sources said.

To balance infection control and daily life, the government plans to ease such restrictions as the number of people allowed to participate in events, through a “vaccine and testing package” that utilizes certificates and other proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test at the entrance to events and restaurants.

The PCR tests will be free through next March for people who cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons, in a bid to establish and promote the use of the package.

Testing will also be free if infections spread and a prefectural governor requests people without symptoms who are concerned about infection to undergo testing based on the coronavirus-related special measures law.

In both cases, people must take the test in person at private testing facilities or pharmacies.