Travelers arriving from overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic can now catch a train to downtown Tokyo from Narita Airport in train cars reserved specifically for them, on a major train line operated by Keisei Electric Railway Co.

Incoming visitors and returnees previously had to travel by cab or private car to comply with government requests to avoid public transportation, aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

But the Keisei Skyliner started a service Monday that will see it make 15 trips a day from the airport in Chiba Prefecture to Tokyo's Ueno Station with the front cars of each train reserved for such travelers, the company said. The cars are disinfected after each run, while adjacent cars are kept empty.

The same day, the government suspended new arrivals by nonresident foreign nationals into Japan from most of the world through the end of January.

The new restriction comes as a potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant, first detected in the U.K., has been confirmed in many other countries including Japan.