Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed on Thursday that the Japanese authorities will prolong the quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, and 16 extra of the 31 prefectures underneath the present anti-COVID-19 measures. These prefectures will stay underneath the quasi-state of emergency till March 21. The authorities cited the persevering with pressure on hospital occupancy in these prefectures as one of many causes for the extension.

The prefectures extending the quasi-state of emergency are Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Hokkaido, Aomori, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Ishikawa, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Kagawa, and Kumamoto. In Fukushima, Nagano, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and 9 different prefectures, the quasi-state of emergency will probably be lifted as deliberate on Sunday.

Kishida additionally introduced that the each day cap of how many individuals can enter Japan will improve once more from 5,000 to 7,000 on March 14. The prime minister famous that 160,000 folks have already utilized to enter the nation this month.

Tokyo reported greater than 12,500 new COVID-19 circumstances and 31 deaths, the second highest quantity for a single day this 12 months, on Wednesday. Japan reported 72,000 new circumstances.

The Japanese authorities declared the present quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gunma, Kagawa, Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Niigata, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki prefectures after their respective governors revealed their intentions to ask for one amid the rise of COVID-19. The nationwide authorities granted the requests from these 13 prefectures from January 21 to February 13, and prolonged them to March 6.

The Japanese authorities additionally expanded the quasi-state of emergency to 18 extra prefectures – together with Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido – amid the rise of COVID-19 infections within the nation as a result of new Omicron variant. Of these, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Aomori, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Ishikawa, Nagano, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga, Kagoshima, and Wakayama additionally prolonged their quasi-state of emergencies to March 6.

Prime Minister Kishida additionally introduced final month that Japan would start easing its COVID-19 entry restrictions for overseas college students and enterprise vacationers (if they’ve sponsors) on March 1. In addition, it elevated the variety of folks (Japanese and overseas nationals mixed) who’re allowed to enter from 3,500 to five,000 each day, and shortened the COVID-19 quarantine interval from seven to 3 days. Japan continues to be not permitting overseas vacationers to enter till additional discover.

Previous quasi-states of emergency, which have much less strict tips in comparison with a full state of emergency, have requested eating and consuming 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)