Traveling has nearly come to a grinding halt, but there are still flights heading into Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. However, all incoming travelers coming from at-risk areas must be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to take public transportation, and since the results can take anywhere from six hours to two days, passengers who have nobody to pick them up at the airport are finding themselves stuck in limbo. To make the wait slightly more comfortable, the airport has built a makeshift hotel of cardboard beds with mattresses and quilts in the baggage claim area, for passengers who must stay overnight to await their test results.
The cardboard beds are intended to serve passengers who aren’t able to find suitable nearby accommodations. They were initially developed for use in evacuation centers during disasters. Now, they’re being repurposed for a different kind of crisis.
People have criticized the setup on social media, claiming the space poses a high risk for infections. CNN reported that safety precautions are being taken; staff are outfitted in protective gear, and provide snacks and water to passengers waiting on their results.