Govt to conduct COVID-19 tests on all arrivals from mainland China

Travellers walk with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China December 27, 2022.

The government has decided to test all those arriving in Japan from mainland China who intend to enter the country for novel coronavirus infection, starting Friday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

As the number of infection cases has been rapidly increasing in China, viral testing will be conducted on all arrivals from China and also on people who have traveled to mainland China within the previous seven days.

The government aims to isolate those who test positive for seven days if they have symptoms, or for five days if they are asymptomatic.

As of Oct. 11, the government had abolished viral tests in principle for people entering the country from anywhere in the world, but the government will now resume testing for those coming from China so as to once more reinforce border controls for COVID-19.

Airport quarantine stations will use antigen testing kits to test for the virus.

If the test result is positive, the government will transport the individual by car to a hotel or another accommodation facility to isolate them.

Virus genomes will be analyzed for all those testing positive when entering the country.

It is believed that a new omicron subvariant called BF.7 has been spreading in China, but it is difficult to know the details of the situation.

Therefore, the government is seeking to prevent high-risk variants of the novel coronavirus from flowing into Japan by strengthening preventative measures during year-end and New Year periods.

The government will also limit airline services to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau at Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Chubu airports. The government plans to prevent any increase in the numbers of flights on existing air routes going forward.