• Jiji


The government plans to open a website in October for business travelers and athletes to book polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the novel coronavirus before they travel overseas.

The website, to be named TeCOT, will allow those planning international trips to check the necessary conditions for travel, which differ by destination, and reserve the PCR tests.

The government hopes to ensure that travelers can access tests for the virus smoothly, with Japan having already started to ease restrictions on travel to and from other Asian economies.

Only business travelers and professional athletes will be allowed to use the service in principle. Japanese athletes slated to participate in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, scheduled for next year, will also be able to use the website.

To prevent coronavirus infections, different countries impose different conditions for entry.

Singapore requires proof of a negative result of a novel coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure from Japan, while Vietnam requires proof of such a result three to seven days before entry.

There are concerns that such differences will make preparations troublesome for those planning to travel.

The website will allow users to easily search and make reservations for domestic medical institutions offering the novel coronavirus tests needed for international travel.

The government will require medical facilities on the website to disclose their PCR test fees, to prevent excessively high charges.

Certificates for negative test results will be issued by the medical institutions in paper form or by email for the time being.

The government plans to introduce a system for issuing such certificates through a special app by the end of next March, due to concerns over possible fabrication of certificates.

On Friday, Japan eased entry restrictions for short-term business travelers from Singapore. It is also looking to implement similar measures for other Asian economies.

The government hopes the launch of the website will help boost international business travel.

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