Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida has announced on Tuesday that the country will tighten border controls for COVID-19 by requiring tests for all visitors from China starting on Friday as a temporary emergency measure against the surging infections there.
The announcement comes days after the World Health Organization (WHO) says it was very concerned about rising reports of severe cases across China after the country largely abandoned its “zero-COVID” policy.
The quantitative antigen test that is already conducted on entrants suspected of having COVID-19 will be mandatory for all people arriving from mainland China.
Those who test positive will be quarantined for seven days at designated facilities and their samples will be used for genome analysis.
Last week India also mandated a COVID-19 test for travelers from China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand, while ordering quarantine for those with symptoms or testing positive.
India has also begun randomly testing 2% of international passengers arriving at their airports.
Kishida said China’s lack of information and transparency about the infections made it difficult to assess and figure out safety measures.
Government officials say direct flights between the two countries will be limited to four major Japanese airports for the time being.
Japan earlier this year stopped requiring COVID-19 tests for entrants who had at least three shots which was part of the country’s careful easing of measures after virtually closing its borders to foreign tourists for about two years.
Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; editing by Julian Osamoto