• Jiji

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The government will double the daily number of airport checks for the coronavirus to about 20,000 following the recent relaxation of entry restrictions, health minister Norihisa Tamura said Saturday.

Tamura revealed the plan to reporters after taking a firsthand look at quarantine operations at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and Haneda Airport in Ota Ward.

Japan partially resumed accepting people from the rest of the world, effective Thursday, allowing entry by foreign nationals planning to stay in Japan for at least three months.

Tamura said he thinks that there is a need for quarantine checks mainly from business travelers.

For people arriving from abroad, Japan started saliva-based antigen tests in July, in addition to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, enabling examinations to be completed in a shorter time.

The government plans to strengthen the virus check system at Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports, for the time being.

It will consider a similar step for other airports if there are requests from local communities.

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