TOKYO — The Japanese government will extend the free COVID-19 test period for asymptomatic people, which had been slated to end at the end of March, until the end of June, economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa announced at a March 22 news conference.
Yamagiwa stated, “The move is in accord with the increasing importance of tests ahead of the recovery of economic and social activities after the quasi-state of emergency was lifted nationwide.”
The scheme allows people to take PCR and antigen qualitative tests for free at medical institutions and drugstores designated by local governments. The minister explained, “It is expected that activities will increase primarily among young generations at the end of the fiscal and academic years (in March) and for spring break.” He called on people to proactively take the opportunity to undergo antigen qualitative tests, whose results are made quickly available, and other means before and after dining, traveling and other occasions, as well as taking basic measures to prevent COVID-19 infections.
(Japanese original by Aoi Hanazawa, Political News Department)