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Japan to Lift Limits on Event Capacity on May 8

posted on by Alex Mateo
Japan to downgrade COVID-19 to same category of diseases as seasonal influenza

The Japanese government's task force has decided to lift the 50% capacity limit for events that involve cheering or shouting, provided they implement anti-infection measures. The task force also decided to "downgrade" COVID-19 to the same category of infectious diseases as seasonal influenza. These changes will go into effect on May 8, although Prime Minister Kishida Fumi stated that the government will hear from experts before downgrading COVID-19.

COVID-19 is currently classified as "category two," which is the second-most severe tier. At this level, authorities can take strict measures to prevent spread. Seasonal influenza is currently in "category 5," considered the lowest tier. After the government downgrades COVID-19 to category 5, it plans to review the medical system to enable more treatment for patients at medical institutions. The government also plans to continue to cover patients' medical expenses for a limited time and to allow people to get vaccines free of charge. Kishida added that the government is reviewing a policy on face masks to allow individuals to decide whether to wear them.

The organizers of Osaka's Nippombashi Street Festa, which they promote as "Japan's biggest cosplay event," announced in December that they are delaying this year's event due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The staff considered a full-scale resumption, but decided that that safety and security could not be guaranteed. Organizers will continue to hold discussions with local residents and relevant government agencies regarding resuming the event.

The Ayakashi Triangle, Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible, UniteUp!, and NieR:Automata Ver 1.1a anime are delaying episodes for the winter 2023 season due to the effects of COVID-19.

Japan last ended a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency in 18 prefectures in March 2022.

In quasi-states of emergency, which have less strict guidelines compared to a full state of emergency, government officials have asked dining and drinking establishments to stop selling alcohol, limit their hours, and limit the number of customers. They have also offered some financial compensation to businesses that comply with the guidelines, and they imposed additional anti-virus measures.

Source: NHK World

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