Something we thought and hoped wouldn’t return has now crept its way back into daily hotel operations, as I witnessed this week in Tokyo: Thermal scanners and manual temperature checks for guests entering the premises.
These remnants of the pandemic have largely vanished, and I’ve rarely seen a business, let alone a hotel that still has these scanners in place, but they are suddenly back.
I first noticed these installations popping up at various hotels in Tokyo after returning to the city following the Christmas holidays and remember saying to myself, “these weren’t here last week”.
Sure enough, suddenly temperature checks are back at a whole lot of hotels such as the Park Hyatt Tokyo where I checked in this week as well as the Shinjuku Prince Hotel where I just passed through:
A bunch of restaurants also re-installed these temperature checks. Although none of the businesses including the hotels paid particular attention to the devices or urged customers to undergo a check.
This leads me to believe that at least for now this is all just for show but if you remember, that’s how it all started three years ago as well.
The recent mass outbreaks of Covid in China and them opening the border have caused quite a scare across Asia and even the world with many countries now implementing entry controls for travelers from China what include mandatory PCT tests and once again quarantine if positive.
At least that is the case for Japan which put the rule into place just after Christmas:
Since there isn’t a unified approach on how to deal with passengers from China (some countries are strict, some others [such as Thailand but also many EU countries] simply don’t can’t at this point) these individual rules will matter very little if travelers originating in China spread Covid once more from one country to the other resulting in global mayhem.
Japan was fast to react and implement tough restrictions on arriving passengers from China and the regime’s respective territories. Is this going to be enough? Probably not.
Hotels and other businesses (in Japan) have started to re-install temperature control measures to monitor customers entering the premises, at least as far as a possible fever is concerned. Not sure how much use this dog and pony show is, the last two times I had Covid I really didn’t have a high temperature but instead other symptoms that weren’t too comfortable. Everyone copes differently of course.
Maybe we’ve all gotten too sensitive about these little tell-tale signs, but that control measures certainly start to pop up again in daily life isn’t a good sign. Together with the current virus scare from China, I wonder how much all these countries have really progressed in their health policy as far as combating covid goes. Are we in danger of borders being closed once again or at least heavy restrictions imposed on travelers?
Have you noticed any such developments at home or other travel destinations yet?