TOKYO: Japanese people should have careful talks with family members and friends before deciding to visit their native places during the Bon summer holiday period, the National Governors’ Association said August 8.
Those who have fever or other symptoms or who visited places considered to have high infection risks within the past two weeks should not make such trips, the group said in a message adopted at an online meeting.
The group of the leaders of the country’s prefectures proposed that the central government introduce punishment for failures to meet business suspension requests and establish a system to make payments to businesses that act on such requests.
The association discussed six indicators, including for hospital bed occupancy, to categorize the severity of the coronavirus epidemic into four stages that were presented by a subgroup of a government expert panel Friday.
If indicators rise to certain levels, the state of the epidemic would be assessed as stage 4, which requires the central government to declare a state of emergency.
The thresholds “seem to be set at high levels,” Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta told the online meeting. “It could be too late if we wait until the thresholds are crossed.”
The association requested again that the national government flexibly review the Go To Travel program to shore up tourism demand through subsidized discounts and vouchers.
“Given the mounting worries among the public, the central government should suspend the program and issue a strong message in order to stop the spread of infections,” Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono said.