The possibility of lifting the state of emergency completely
On March 25, the government will consult with the Advisory Committee on the complete lifting of the state of emergency declaration regarding the novel coronavirus. If approved, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a declaration of cancellation at the government task force that will continue to meet. At a press conference on April 24, Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura who is in charge of the emergency response, mentioned that the number of newly confirmed infected people in Tokyo was 14 and Hokkaido 15, and said, It is obvious that there is a significant downward trend. Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Kato also said on an NHK program, The infection situation is improving and the tightening of medical care has eased considerably, and then clarified, We will hear from experts as early as tomorrow and it will be the final decision to lift it. In easing the state of emergency, the government will make a comprehensive assessment of (1) state of infection, (2) medical care delivery system, and (3) surveillance system, including PCR testing. The first rule of thumb is that the number of new cases of infection in the last week should be 0.5 per 100,000 people or less. Of the five prefectures, Hokkaido and Kanagawa do not meet the 0.5 or less threshold, but a senior government official said, The level remains at about one person or less, so it is possible to lift the restriction. If the five prefectures are lifted on May 25, the declaration, which has been in effect for about a month and a half, will be fully lifted. The Prime Minister will explain these ideas to the public at a press conference on May 25 evening. Source: Yomiuri Shinbun
Update on Monday, May 25.
The Japanese government said Monday it will ease restrictions on social and economic activities in stages every three weeks now that it fully lifted the country''s coronavirus state of emergency. The government allowed people to travel from and to Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures as well as Hokkaido with caution from June 1. Starting on June 19, travel across prefectural borders except for tourist activities will be fully allowed. On Monday, the government lifted the state of emergency for the five prefectures, fully lifting the measure that had been in place nationwide since mid-April. An event drawing as many as 1,000 people can be held from June 19. Currently, the government allows concerts, exhibitions and other events drawing up to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors to take place. Event organizers will be asked to limit numbers to up to half of the full capacity for indoor venues and to ensure that participants abide by a 2-meter social distancing rule at outdoor events. Source: nippon.com, The Jiji Press, Ltd.