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Japan's Peach Aviation offers free PCR tests for passengers

A Peach Aviation plane is seen taking off at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo in August 2019. (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)

IZUMISANO, Osaka -- Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation Ltd. has begun offering free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for its passengers ahead of domestic flights from Kansai and Narita international airports, the firm announced on Feb. 10.

    Passengers flying with the airline between Feb. 21 and March 31 are eligible for the free test. The kit will be sent to passengers, so they can take the test wherever they like in the days before heading to the airport. Applications will be accepted until March 21.

    The move comes amid drastic flight cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We'd like to guarantee that our flights are safe and strive to revitalize regional economies," an airline representative commented.

    According to the airline, based at Kansai International Airport in western Japan, travelers can apply for a PCR test via a dedicated website after purchasing their tickets. The requests need to be filed up to 10 days before the departure date. After collecting saliva with the test kit, customers must send it back to the firm up to three days before they are scheduled to fly. The results are sent by email.

    The PCR testing service will cease taking applications once it reaches capacity.

    (Japanese original by Yasutoshi Tsurumi, Izumisano Resident Bureau)

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