Travellers sleep in cardboard boxes in Tokyo airport

Posted by Leila Stein on 14 April 2020

Passengers have set up a cardboard box city in the baggage claim hall of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport while waiting for the results of their COVID-19 tests.

These passengers are those who aren’t able to be picked up by family or friends in a private car. They would need public transport to get home, which is prohibited by the Japanese government.

The cardboard beds provided by the airport act as a sort of ‘futon’. In addition, the airport provides snacks and drinks to try and make the wait as comfortable as possible.


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According to Forbes, those who receive a negative test result will still not be allowed to use public transport but will be allowed to go to a nearby hotel or rent a car. They are also asked to complete a self-imposed 14-day quarantine.

The use of cardboard beds for disaster situations is not new to Japan and they had them on hand already as the government had been stockpiling them in case of an emergency.

Narita International Airport is a gateway to Japan for many international travellers and is one of two handling flights from China and Korea.

While the baggage claim may look like a cardboard refugee camp, having adequate bedding is something that has not been seen in other major international airports. Travellers stuck in major transit regions like Dubai and the UK have complained about the lack of resources, sleeping on chairs and the floor.

Image: @theworldreview/Twitter


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