TOKYO: Japan will stop testing travellers arriving from mainland China for the coronavirus, the government said Monday (Apr 3), ending a COVID-19 policy previously slammed as “discriminatory” by Beijing.
From Wednesday, arrivals from China will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative result obtained before departure – “just the same as all the other travellers and returnees”, a government statement said.
The decision brings to an end a spat over COVID-19 border measures which began in January.
Then, more than a dozen countries imposed new travel rules as infections surged in China, which had just relaxed its strict zero-COVID policies.
In a tit-for-tat move, China suspended issuing short-term visas to Japanese citizens, with the Chinese foreign ministry hitting out against “discriminatory practices”.
It resumed issuing visas to Japanese citizens in late January, but Japan kept its testing-on-arrival requirement for China.
Chinese tourists made up around a third of all visitors to Japan before the pandemic.
Last week, Britain also said travellers flying in from China would no longer need proof of a negative test from Apr 5.