Travel restrictions are keeping Narita Airport — Japan’s gateway to the world — eerily quiet. Over the past week or so, the usual bustle from international travelers has been replaced with something else: cardboard beds.
At a glance, it looks like an evacuation shelter. The so-called “cardboard village” is spread throughout the arrivals section of the airport, skirting around the baggage claim conveyor belts and triggering worries about whether there is enough space between beds.
Though Japan seemed to avoid the first wave of COVID-19 infections in March, cases have skyrocketed over the last two weeks — with the number of new infections logged daily sometimes doubling from one day to the next. In an effort to curb the rise, the country stopped accepting foreign nationals from 73 countries and regions on April 3, and began testing every arriving passenger for COVID-19.