(CTN NEWS) – TOKYO – Japan will start relaxing its COVID-19 restrictions on visitors from China on Wednesday (Mar 1) and will no longer require that everyone get tested for the virus when they arrive, according to a top government spokesperson.
They will only test specific samples of Chinese travelers rather than all of them, though they will still need to present a negative test result before boarding their planes to Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during a news conference on Monday.
Given the tiny percentage of applicants who received positive test results, Matsuno stated that the revisions were made to “facilitate seamless overseas journeys.”
Direct Flights From China To Japan
Matsuno says airlines can run direct flights from China to more airports. Only the Narita, Haneda, Kansai, and Chubu airports can receive direct flights from China.
According to a report from the broadcaster TBS earlier on Monday, citing government sources, travelers from Hong Kong and Macau will not be subject to any pre-boarding negative or on-arrival screening requirements.
When China lifted its rigorous zero-COVID policy in the latter part of last year, COVID-19 instances there soared, prompting Japan and South Korea to adopt stronger border controls on visitors from China.
In retaliation, China stopped granting short-term visas to South Korean and Japanese citizens.
Early this month, South Korea loosened its border controls for travelers from China, which China applauded.
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