TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called on people Monday to fully follow measures to prevent coronavirus infections, noting that the novel coronavirus, responsible for COVID-19 disease, will not take year-end and New Year holidays.
At a meeting of the government’s COVID-19 response headquarters, Suga referred to a mutant coronavirus strain first reported in Britain and now confirmed in Japan, as well.
The British government has announced that the mutant strain is up to around 1.7 times more infectious than the existing one, and experts say that the mutant strain is now prevailing in Britain,” Suga said.
“Measures to tackle the mutant strain are basically the same as for the existing strain,” he said. “We ask people to refrain from gatherings and to spend a quiet year-end and New Year period.”
The prime minister said the government will ensure that coronavirus tests and medical services continue to be available during the year-end and New Year period.
On Monday, the government implemented a ban on arrivals by non-resident foreigners from most countries and regions. The ban will be maintained until the end of January.
Meanwhile, the government has suspended its “Go To Travel” tourism subsidy campaign from Monday to Jan. 11.