Japan is planning to scrap a negative coronavirus test requirement on visitors from China due to a low rate of positive results during sample testing at airports, a government source said Thursday.

Under the eased rules, possibly to go into effect from early April, travelers from mainland China will no longer have to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours or less before departure as long as they have had at least three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the source said.

Passengers from Shanghai arrive at Narita airport near Tokyo on Dec. 30, 2022, with a notice board (L) seen showing the Japanese government's new travel restrictions requiring all air travelers from mainland China to take an antigen test upon arrival. (Kyodo)

At the end of last year, the Japanese government implemented blanket COVID-19 testing for all arrivals from mainland China, including those who had visited the country within the previous seven days.

In early January, it further tightened border controls for visitors from mainland China by requiring proof of a negative test.

In March, however, the government switched to testing only passengers on selected flights from China after finding that the number of those testing positive for COVID-19 had dropped.