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Japan fully lifts COVID-19 pre-emergency measures

The Japanese government fully lifted its COVID-19 pre-emergency measures on Tuesday. (AFP)
The Japanese government fully lifted its COVID-19 pre-emergency measures on Tuesday. (AFP)
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22 Mar 2022 12:03:01 GMT9
22 Mar 2022 12:03:01 GMT9

TOKYO: The Japanese government fully lifted its COVID-19 pre-emergency measures on Tuesday.

No prefecture is in the pre-emergency stage for the first time since Okinawa and two other prefectures were placed in the stage on Jan. 9 in response to the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Governors of prefectures in the pre-emergency stage are allowed to impose restrictions similar to but less strict than those introduced under a state of emergency.

The pre-emergency measures were lifted in 18 of the country’s 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, after they once expanded to cover as many as 36 prefectures. Requests for shorter operating hours and restrictions on alcohol sales have been removed or relaxed.

While there is concern about a possible rebound in new infection cases, the fight against COVID-19 in Japan entered a new stage, in which people aim to strike a balance between socioeconomic activities and antivirus measures.

The quarantine period for those who had close contacts with COVID-19 patients has been shortened and companies are no longer asked to identify close contacts among their employees.

Meanwhile, the pace of decline in the number of new infection cases has been slow. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country will be in a period of transition to normalcy for the time being, calling on people to stay in the highest state of alert.

JIJI Press

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