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.
- Take certified establishments into consideration when choosing a place to dine and drink.
- If the number of new cases shows an increase (excluding the cases of spread due to variants with the same level of infectivity and pathogenicity as the Omicron variant), 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 upward, dining and drinking establishments and patrons of these establishments will be requested as necessary 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.
- If clusters at facilities or a significant increase of new cases are detected, owners and managers of the facility are asked to follow the requests to take necessary action, including restrictions on the use of the facility.
(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.
- 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.
- If clusters at events or a significant increase of new cases are detected, please follow the requests to take necessary action, including stricter limits on the number of people.
(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.