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As of today, 1 March, the travel restrictions imposed on travellers from China will be eased: only random passengers will be tested for Covid-19.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference that as of Wednesday, only random testing will be carried out on passengers from China. The change is intended to "promote smooth international travel" taking into consideration relatively low infection rates among arrivals over the past two months, Matsuno said. All samples analyzed at the border were of the omicron strains, which are already found inside Japan, he said. Proof of pre-boarding negative test will still be required, he said.

South Korea has already removed entry restrictions for short-term travellers from China since the beginning of January, as officials saw the pandemic in China being stabilized. Japan plans to relax its mask-wearing requests on 13 March and leave it up to individuals. It will also downgrade COVID-19 to the equivalent of seasonal influenza in May.

Japan is easing the COVID rules for visitors from China: travellers to Japan from China with proof of three or more COVID-19 shots will not need to submit negative test results, starting as soon as early April.

All travelers from China must now show a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before their flight's departure. This measure was put in place in January after the surge of COVID-19 infections in China. All travelers from China had been subject to testing upon arrival, but this was changed in March to limited samples. The resulting low percentage of positive results led to the decision to relax the controls further.

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