Government lifts restrictions on flights from Hong Kong, Macau

yomiuri news
A Hong Kong Airlines plane parked at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido.

The government has revised recently announced COVID-19 measures that will prevent flights from Hong Kong and Macau from landing at New Chitose, Fukuoka and Naha airports.

Tighter border restrictions were imposed on Friday in response to the rapid spread of novel coronavirus infections in China.

The Japanese government announced Tuesday that travelers from China and those who have stayed in mainland China in the past seven days, regardless of nationality, will be tested for the virus upon arrival.

The government initially said flights from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau would be limited to four airports in Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Chubu to improve quarantine efficiency.

The government believes the flights from Hong Kong and Macau will carry a large number of passengers with a travel history to mainland China. However, the news caused riots among Hong Kong travel agencies that operate tours in Hokkaido and Okinawa. The Hong Kong government then asked Japan to revise the restrictions. Okinawa’s tourism ministry has also called for the restrictions to be reconsidered.

Therefore, the Japanese government revised the measures, stipulating that seven airports will accept flights from Hong Kong and Macau, as long as no passengers have stopped in mainland China in the past 7 days.

But the number of flights from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau will not increase.

Passengers from various countries will continue to be required to undergo testing if they show symptoms such as fever.

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