Japan set to ease COVID-19 emergency next week as infections fall

According to a government source, apan is considering lifting the COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo and 17 other prefectures from Monday, since the number of infections in these areas have significantly declined.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government will make a final decision today on the lifting of restrictions, as current emergency measures are set to expire on the 21st of March.

Officials in some prefectures hope the downturn in daily coronavirus infections have met the government criteria for lifting the emergency, however the government also expects other prefectures may ask for an extension on their state of emergency measures.

On Tuesday, a total of 35,846 new infections were reported across Japan, a huge drop from the 90,000+ cases reported daily the month prior. Of these cases, the Tokyo government is now reporting cases below 5000 for the first time since mid-January.

With this news, tourism Minister Tesuo Saito stated that the government will consider resumption of the Go To Travel tourism subsidy program to booster social and economic as Japan seeks to recover from the Coronavirus economic downturn.

“We need to ensure the safety and a sense of security for both travelers and their destinations,” Saito said, without providing a possible date for the programs resumption.

The 18 prefectures currently under the quasi-emergency measures are: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Kagawa, Kumamoto, Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Aomori, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gifu, Tochigi and Gunm.

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