Japan tightens coronavirus border controls for arrivals from China

Japan began tightening temporary border controls starting Sunday for people arriving from China in response to the surge in coronavirus infections there.

Travelers who arrive via direct flights from mainland China will be required to show proof of a negative test result obtained within 72 hours before departure.

Tests upon arrival are being switched in phases from simple antigen tests to more accurate methods, such as PCR screening. Those who test positive will be required to stay at quarantine facilities.

The Japanese government will continue urging airlines to limit direct flights from mainland China to four airports -- Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Chubu. This measure has been in effect since December 30.
Airlines are also being asked not to increase the number of direct flights.

The four airports are also open to flights from Hong Kong and Macao.

Starting Sunday, aircraft from the two territories can also land at other airports, provided none of the passengers have stayed in mainland China within seven days before departure. The airports must also be ready to handle adequate quarantine controls.

Japan's health ministry says 4,895 travelers from China have been tested upon arrival from December 30 to January 5. It says 408 of them tested positive for the coronavirus.