Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida introduced on Thursday that Japan will start easing its COVID-19 entry restrictions for overseas college students and enterprise vacationers (if they’ve sponsors) subsequent month. In addition, it’ll enhance the variety of folks (Japanese and overseas nationals mixed) who’re allowed to enter from 3,500 to five,000 each day, and shorten the COVID-19 quarantine interval from seven to 3 days. Japan remains to be not permitting overseas vacationers to enter till additional discover.

Kishida additionally introduced that 16 prefectures will prolong their COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency to March 6, as a substitute of ending it on Sunday as beforehand deliberate. The 16 prefectures are Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Aomori, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Ishikawa, Nagano, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga, and Kagoshima. The prefectures requested extensions because of excessive hospital-bed occupancy charges. Wakayama prefecture can be contemplating an extension from its beforehand deliberate finish date of February 27. The authorities will make a proper determination on Friday after receiving recommendation from consultants.

Five different prefectures — Okinawa, Yamagata, Shimane, Yamaguchi, and Oita — will nonetheless finish their quasi-state of emergency on Sunday as deliberate. 13 extra prefectures — Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gunma, Kagawa, Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Niigata, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki — already prolonged their quasi-state of emergency to March 6.

Japan reported over 95,000 COVID-19 instances on Thursday. In Tokyo, the occupancy fee of hospital beds is above 20%, which is the brink the Tokyo authorities views as wanted to ask the nationwide authorities to implement a quasi-state of emergency.

While the federal government nonetheless has a ban on new overseas entrants in place till the tip of February, the nation allowed 87 overseas college students to enter the nation as a particular case.

Previous quasi-states of emergency, which have much less strict pointers in comparison with a full state of emergency, have requested eating and ingesting institutions to cease promoting alcohol, restrict their hours, and restrict the variety of clients. They have additionally supplied some monetary compensation to companies that adjust to the rules, and so they imposed further anti-virus measures.

Japan final ended a full state of emergency in 19 prefectures final September. That state of emergency began in July (though Okinawa had then already been underneath a state of emergency for 4 months).

Source: NHK (hyperlink 2, hyperlink 3)