In an effort to increase the number of COVID-19 tests available for incoming international travelers, Japan is working to set up testing facilities at three international airports.
To ramp up testing for arriving travelers, the Japanese government will set up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test facilities at three international gateways to the country: Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, and Osaka-Kansai by September.
At present, the quarantine facilities at Japan's international airports is limited to around 2,300 passengers. In August, Japan plans to increase the test capacity to 4,000 and 10,000 tests per day upon the opening of the new facilities at the three airports in September.
According to Japan's health minister Katsunobu Kato, Japanese government is considering to partner with private health providers and companies to facilitate the testing process.
"(The centers) will probably be operated by private medical institutions and testing firms," Kato told reporters after a recent inspection at Narita airport. Kato added: "We, as the health ministry, will fully support them."
While restrictions are still in place to enter Japan, those who arrive are required to take a PCR test and have a negative result before being allowed entry. Discussions are ongoing within the Japanese government regarding the policies to strengthen testing while allowing more international flights to the Japan.
Travelers departing Japan are required to obtain certificates to show a negative COVID-19 test result.
With plans to gradually resume international flights, Japan is currently in talks with several countries including South Korea, China, and Taiwan to reopen flights. However, Japan currently has restricted travel to the country from around 129 countries.