Government calls on people to get tested before spring holidays Government calls on people to get tested before spring holidays

Government calls on people to get tested before spring holidays

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    The holiday season risk

    The Japanese government is calling on people to take free PCR or antigen tests before traveling during the upcoming spring holiday period known as "Golden Week." The period runs from late April through early May and is a popular time for domestic travel, so officials want to ensure economic and social activity can go ahead without triggering a spike in infections.

    Nationwide, the infection rate is slowly decreasing, but there are pockets where the trend is upward. Especially, Hokkaido, Tottori, Shimane, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa are seeing increases.

    The government has been opening centers for free testing across Japan since December. The service is designed for people who have no symptoms but want to ensure they are safe to travel, dine out, or socialize.

    Ten thousand test centers

    Those testing centers quickly found themselves overwhelmed when the Omicron variant was proliferating in January. Demand for tests surged and kits were in short supply. The picture has changed substantially since then. The Cabinet Secretariat Office says there are now more than 10,000 locations nationwide — a 70 percent increase from the number at the end of January.

    It is now possible to get tested at some medical institutions, drug stores, airports, train stations, subway stations, parking lots and karaoke complexes, among other places. Some providers are asking people to book online.

    List of locations

    For more details, access the website of the Cabinet Secretariat Office's Novel Coronavirus Disease Control. It lists the locations of testing services by prefecture.

    Please note that the result is not a diagnosis. A negative PCR or antigen test result does not mean that you have not contracted the virus. If you receive a positive result, you must contact a medical institution.

    This information is accurate as of April 27, 2022.

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