Japan Entrance Exam Candidates Exposed To COVID Patients May Take Taxis To Testing Sites: Government


The headquarters of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology can be seen on the left in this November 11, 2020 file photo taken in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo. (Mainichi / Akira Okubo)

TOKYO – As Japan enters the season of large-scale school entrance exams, the Education Ministry has decided to allow applicants who have had close contact with patients with COVID- 19 to take taxis to go to the places of the exams under certain conditions.

The decision was communicated to education councils and universities in Japan on January 7. The ministry decided on December 28, 2021 to allow people who have come in close contact with people infected with the virus, including its omicron variant, to sit for school or university entrance exams in rooms different from those of the other candidates. However, they can only pass the tests if they have no symptoms and a negative PCR test.

The ministry had also previously banned these candidates from taking public transport to exam locations, including taxis. However, as some candidates may not have access to a private car or other means to get to the test sites, the ministry has decided to allow them to travel by taxi, private rental car and by water taxis. But, they are required to take infection control measures and make it clear to the driver of the vehicle that they have had close contact with a coronavirus patient when making a reservation, among other conditions.

The ministry has also set up a consultation desk for people who cannot find a taxi company on their own. If a candidate asks for help, staff will direct them to a local district transportation office to find a company that can take them to the exam location.

(Japanese original by Akira Okubo, Tokyo City Information Department)


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