Drive-thru services in Japan, once limited mainly to takeout meals, have begun to include tests for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and face mask distribution as the country continues to battle the virus pandemic.

For food service operators, meanwhile, drive-thru offers hope for retaining customers as people increasingly practice social distancing and avoid conventional outlets.

The country has yet to introduce nationwide drive-thru testing for the virus that causes COVID-19, but the cities of Niigata and Nagoya adopted the method in March. Doctors and medical staff in protective gear stand outside cars to check people, going through a list of diagnostic questions and taking swabs from their throats.