COVID-19 Information and ResoucesCOVID-19 Information and Resouces

Measures to be taken based on the basic response policy

The priority preventative measures issued in January 2022 were lifted in all prefectures on March 21, 2022.
We would like to ask for your continued cooperation in preventing the spread of infection.

Concerning Infection Control Measures

  • The transmission routes for COVID-19 infection are thought to include contact contagion and the inhalation of droplets and aerosols discharged by coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc. Accordingly, basic infection control measures are vital.
  • It is also important to identify the locations and activities that are starting points for contagion through active and strategic inspections and active epidemiological investigations by government and local public bodies. It is also important to enact effective measures to reduce the flow of people and opportunities for contact with people, taking into consideration the outbreak situation.
  • Basic infection control measures include avoidance of the "Three Cs" ((1) Closed spaces (with poor ventilation), (2) Crowded places (with many people), and (3) Close-contact settings (with conversation or speech at arm's reach)), maintaining distance from others, wearing masks, hand washing and other hand hygiene, and ventilation.
  • About the use of masks
    The use of masks is recommended in the following cases:
    • When unable to maintain physical distance from others indoors (two meters or more as a guide)
    • When able to maintain distance from others indoors but engaging in conversation
    • When unable to maintain distance from others outdoors and engaging in conversation
  • The use of masks is also recommended when interacting with people who face a high risk of serious illness, such as when visiting elderly people or inside hospitals.
  • Masks of non-woven material are recommended.
  • Indoors, it is not necessary to wear a mask when physical distance can be maintained from others and there is little conversation.
  • Outdoors, it is not necessary to wear a mask when physical distance can be maintained from others, or when distance cannot be maintained but there is little conversation. Particularly in the summer, taking off masks is recommended to prevent heatstroke. Also, care is required when small children below elementary school age wear masks. In particular, masks are not recommended for children under two years of age. In the case of children between the age of two and elementary school age, as individual developmental status, physical condition, etc. must be taken into account, the use of masks is not universally recommended, regardless of physical distance from others. In cases in which an individual is not in good physical condition and continuous wearing of a mask is difficult, it is not necessary to force the use of a mask. When masks are worn, parents and surrounding adults should closely supervise the physical condition of children.

We will continue to develop more effective infection control measures based on knowledge obtained from local and international studies throughout the pandemic.

■Requests to the public

(1) Restrictions regarding dining and drinking establishments, etc.

  • Drinking and dining establishments are, in principle, open for business as usual. However, some prefectures may request restrictions, such as limiting the number of people. In this case, follow the prefecture's requests.
  • If the number of new cases shows an increase, establishments will be requested to shorten their business hours, pursuant to Article 24, Paragraph 9 of the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response (Act No. 31 of 2012, hereinafter referred to as the "Act"). In this case, as the basic rule, establishments that have not been certified are to close by 8 p.m. Certified establishments are not to be subject to such restrictions, but please ensure that you follow the prefecture's requests if there are any.
  • If COVID-19 cases are trending upwards, dining and drinking establishments and patrons of these establishments will be requested to limit the number of people dining or drinking together as a group to up to four per table pursuant to Article 24, Paragraph 9 of the Act. However, groups of more than four people per table will be allowed at certified establishments if all group members have been tested. (Per prefectural government decision, "vaccine-and-test package" are applicable and can be used in the manner above.)

(2) Restrictions on the use of facilities, etc.

  • Owners and managers of facilities where clusters have previously occurred or where "The Three Cs" are known to occur are asked to cooperate with necessary requests based on the infection situation in the area.

(3) Restrictions on holding events, etc.

  • In order to reduce the risk of infection caused by participants' long-distance travels and activities, participants are to follow basic prevention measures when attending events. In addition to the infection situation of the area, requirements such as capacity restrictions are to be made based on the following measures.
    • When holding events with an infection prevention plan, the plan must be submitted to and accepted by the prefecture. In this case, as the basic rule, events are allowed to have either the maximum number of people permitted for the venue or a maximum of 100% of the capacity. If spaces "with loud speaking" and "without loud speaking" are clearly divided within the same event, the capacity will be 50% (with loud speaking) and 100% (without loud speaking) of the maximum for each, respectively.
    • When holding events without an infection prevention plan, events are to fulfill the following requirements:
      - either a maximum of 5,000 people or a maximum of 50% of the venue capacity, whichever is larger
      - either a maximum of 50% of the venue capacity (with shouting, chanting, or singing during the event) or a maximum of 100% of the venue capacity (without shouting, chanting, or singing during the event)
      In this case, organizers must create a checklist of infection prevention measures set by the prefectural government, and publish them on websites, etc. If spaces "with loud speaking" and "without loud speaking" are clearly divided within the same event, the capacity will be 50% (with loud speaking) and 100% (without loud speaking) of the maximum for each, respectively.
    Use apps such as the Contact Confirmation Application (COCOA) when holding events, etc.
  • Regardless of the scale of the event, take basic infection prevention measures, such as arranging seats to avoid "The Three Cs," maintaining a safe distance between people, wearing masks, and monitoring and regulating the behavior of players, performers, and participants not only during but both before and after the event. In addition, create a list of all participants and keep their contact information.
  • If clusters or a significant increase of new cases are detected, please follow requests to take necessary action.

(4) Going out / Traveling

  • When traveling across prefectural borders for leisure trips and family visits, please take basic infection prevention measures, including avoiding "The Three Cs," and refrain from actions that may cause the risk of infection. Prefectural governors may also request to refrain from unnecessary, non-urgent travel to the areas under the state of emergency and priority preventative measures, excluding those who have tested negative or those who are applied to the "Vaccine and PCR Testing Package" system.
  • Use facilities that comply with industry-specific guidelines.
  • If clusters or a significant increase of new cases are detected, please follow requests to take necessary action regarding avoiding crowded places and areas with a high risk of infection.

(5) Work commutes / Telework

  • Please take steps to reduce human contact, such as working from home or teleworking, staggered work hours, and bicycle commuting.
  • Thoroughly implement measures, utilizing practical examples, to prevent infection in workplaces, including handwashing, hand hygiene practices, cough etiquette, maintaining a safe distance between employees, ensuring ventilation in the workplace, disinfecting areas that are touched by multiple people, ensuring that employees with symptoms such as fever refrain from going to work, testing employees with mild symptoms using tests like qualitative antigen test kits, utilizing video conferencing to reduce the need for employees to travel for business, staggering lunch breaks, and taking preventative measures in communal living spaces such as dormitories, and avoiding "The Three Cs." Stay cautious when moving room to room at work, especially in common areas such as break rooms, change rooms, and smoking rooms.
  • To prevent further infections, please install a carbon dioxide analyzer.
  • Implement appropriate industry guidelines for restaurants, shops and workplaces.
  • Request to work from home or come in at staggered hours to prevent further infection if you are a senior citizen, have a chronic disease, are at high risk such as pregnancy or if you live with any persons in the aforementioned categories.
  • In the workplace, utilize health monitoring applications and test individuals with mild symptoms using tests such as qualitative antigen test kits.

How to prevent resurgence in daily life

Points about dining

Choose a restaurant that is well ventilated, has sufficient distance between seats, has appropriately sized acrylic panels, and is not crowded.

Points about dining 01

Have your meal in a short time, do not drink alcohol in excess, do not talk loudly, and wear a mask when talking.

Points about dining 02

The more people you have in your group, the higher the risk. Try to eat only with family members or limit the number of people in your group to four.

Points about dining 03

Points about daily life

When going out, choose quiet times and places. Regardless of whether it is a weekday or holiday, refrain from eating in crowded locations.

Points about daily life 01

Company management should strive to promote safe conditions in the workplace and opportunities for remote work.

Points about daily life 02

Five situations that increase the risk of infection.

Situation 1Social gatherings with drinking alcohol

  • Drinking alcohol improves mood and at the same time decreases attention. In addition, hearing is dulled and it leads to speaking in a louder voice.
  • The risk of infection increases when large numbers of people are in a small space for a long time.
  • In addition, sharing glasses and chopsticks increases the risk of infection.
Social gatherings with drinking alcohol

Situation 2Long feasts in large groups

  • Long-term meals, dinner receptions, and drinking alcohol at night increases the risk of infection compared to a short meal.
  • The risk of infection is increased by eating and drinking in a large group of people, for example, 5 or more people, because in groups you have to talk louder and droplets of saliva spread more often.
Long feasts in large groups

Situation 3Conversation without a mask

  • Talking at close range without a mask increases the risk of airborne or micro-droplet infection.
  • Cases of infection without masks were observed during gatherings at daytime karaoke.
  • Please be careful when traveling by car or bus.
Conversation without a mask

Situation 4Living together in a small limited space

  • Living together in a small limited space increases the risk of infection because the enclosed space is shared by several people for a long time.
  • There have been reports of suspected infections in common areas such as dormitory rooms and bathrooms.
Living together in a small limited space

Situation 5Switching locations

  • When you move to another location, such as when you take a break in a workplace, the risk of infection may increase due to the feeling of relaxation and changes of the environment.
  • Suspected cases of infection were identified in break rooms, smoking areas, and changing rooms.
Switching locations

Points to keep in mind during dining

To all people

  • If you are going to drink alcohol, you should:
    • (1) Drink in small groups and for a short time.
    • (2) Drink only with people you usually spend time with.
    • (3) Don't drink too much or too often, and drink in moderation.
  • Do not share chopsticks and glasses.
  • Seating should be arranged diagonally across the table. Try to avoid sitting directly in front of or beside each other. There have been reports of infection where people were sitting in front of or right next to each other at meals, but not when sitting diagonally across from each other.
  • Remove your mask only when eating and wear your mask when talking.
    (Note that face shields and mouth shields*1 are less effective than masks*2.)
  • Choose an establishment that complies with the guidelines*, such as proper ventilation and other measures.
  • Do not participate in social activities if you are not feeling well.

To establishments

  • Establishments should follow the guidelines*.
    (For example, make sure employees are in good health, wear masks, use effective acrylic panels at each seat, and use appropriate fans in combination with ventilation.)
  • Encourage customers and staff to comply with the above practices and to download the contact verification application (COCOA).

Guidelines to keep following in all situations, including drinking situations

  • The basic rule is to wear a mask and avoid "The Three Cs." Also, ensure good ventilation indoors.
  • Keep social gatherings small and short.
  • Don't talk loudly and keep conversations as quiet as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect common facilities, and thoroughly wash hands and disinfect with alcohol.
Face shields were originally used in conjunction with masks to prevent droplet infection through the eyes, while mouth shields have been used by some industries.
Further evidence regarding the effectiveness of the prevention of COVID-19 infection is required.
*In one restaurant where there were infected employees, there were no infected customers (out of over 100 people) because the restaurant complied with the guidelines, ventilation was provided by opening windows, and there was adequate distance between customers.